FDNY Modifies 911 Reporting System

Associated Press - November 21, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) - The New York City fire department is temporarily changing the process by which 911 calls reporting fires are handled.

The move comes after a fatal fire in Brooklyn this week raised questions on a new system which began in May. Fire union officials said the system caused a delay in getting to the blaze that killed two children and a father. FDNY brass said it wasn't true.

The 911 systems used to be separate for police and fire calls. But the new system combines them, and sends emergency fire information taken by police operators directly to FDNY dispatchers.

Fire call takers will conference with police call takers under the modification to make sure all the information is correct. The change will be in place until officials decide it's not needed. Response time isn't expected to increase.