Billion Dollar Dispatch System Fails in Queens Fatal Fire

FirefighterHourly.com - November 08, 2009

FDNY firefighters are upset because the city's centralized 911 system has resulted in firefighters being sent to the wrong address. Again. Except this time there were three fatalities and the Uniformed Firefighters Association is again questioning the decision to allow call takers not familiar with fire services to answer calls.

A 911 call taker input the wrong address sending FDNY units to the wrong address while the actual address was burning. Once redirected firefighters attempted to make rescues but it was too late. Three people perished and firefighters are upset over the mistake.

FDNY units operate "in order of arrival" and their system works superbly. The new dispatch protocols, plus mistakes in 911 call taking, have led to units arriving out of order. All in the name of artificially reducing response times, the system doesn't take into account how firefighters operate in the street.