Report: New N.Y. 9-1-1 System Squelching EMS Response

Scathing report attacks the city's dispatch system


 
 

| Tuesday, April 3, 2012


NEW YORK CITY -- The Bloomberg administration is waging an all-out battle to suppress a scathing report aptly called "9-1-1 CPR'," which has determined that the city's emergency-dispatch system is on life support, The Post has learned.

The document, formally known as the 9-1-1 Call Processing Review, charges that despite more than $2 billion shoveled at the problems, response times to emergencies, in which every second counts, have actually slowed. One source described it as "nuclear.''

Among the bombshell findings:

• Far from fixing the problems, the new $2 billion 9-1-1 system has "made it worse," by slowing the time it takes for fire and EMS calls to get from 9-1-1 operators to the responders in the field, the source said.

• NYPD brass, trying to keep their call stats high and justify an ever-increasing budget, refuse to allow the city's 311 system to handle nonemergency police calls - although that's how it's done in many other big cities.

• As much as $100 million has been wasted by purchasing separate dispatch systems for the NYPD and FDNY when one new one would have been just fine. The separate systems were incompatible, so the city had to spend $15 million for an interface to get them to communicate with each other.

• Despite a series of reports showing that it would be more efficient for City Hall to exert direct control over emergency communications - because of incessant brawling between the NYPD and FDNY - the mayor's office is still ducking responsibility.

That's because City Hall officials are fearful of angering Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and his team, the source said.

The document was commissioned by Mayor Bloomberg after the city's disastrous response to the Christmas blizzard of 2010.

Bloomberg insisted the analysis of New York's emergency-response systems would be candid and unvarnished.

But as it turned out, the 216-page report, written by a Washington-area consulting firm, was so damning that it sent fear through the highest echelons at City Hall and the NYPD, which runs the 9-1-1 system. Already a top police official has been reassigned.

"The system is as inefficient and ineffective an operation as you could get," the source said. "Seconds count in emergencies. People are going to die."

After learning of the report's ugly conclusions, City Hall ordered everyone familiar with the document to shut up. Copies of the analysis have been stamped "draft" to keep them from being released, although the findings have been complete for a while.

Official confirmation that the report was done finally came in the past two months when lawyers for the FDNY officers union grilled senior Fire Department personnel as part of a complex labor case against the city.

"Everyone's heard of that report," FDNY Communications Director Gerard Neville testified Feb. 24 in that case. "That's like a best seller - but no one's ever seen it."

On Friday, the state Supreme Court justice hearing the case ordered the city to release the document. But that directive was postponed after administration lawyers made a last-minute appeal.

The authors of the report refused to comment. Bloomberg spokesman Marc LaVorgna offered what has become City Hall's standard response to questions about problems with emergency communications:

"The system handles 11 million calls a year effectively and response times are at or near record lows across the board,'' LaVorgna said.

"We will continue to build on our public safety gains that have made this city safer than ever before."




Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, New York

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Simulation-Based Assessment Facilitates Learning & Enhances Clinical Judgment

Simulation is an educational tool that can be used to develop and refine clinical skills of the student in a controlled environment before they progress to becoming practicing clinicians.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

REMSA Programs Helps Reduce Hospital Visits

Community paramedic effort goes into service.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

City Official Challenges San Francisco Fire Chief

Ambulance response times among problems noted by city supervisor.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Texas Ambulance Crash

Victoria ambulance collides with civilian vehicle.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Colorado Medics Ditch Pants for Kilts

“Real men do wear kilts.”
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

CO Leak at Illinois School

Girard incident sends over 130 to hospitals.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Hands On September 2014

Who gets thumbs up this month?
More >


Multimedia Thumb

NYC Sept. 11 Anniversary

View images from the ceremony at Ground Zero.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


More Product Videos >