Despite multiple crashes in the days following its launch, and also possibly delaying the rescue of a 4-year-old girl who was hit and, ultimately, killed by a car, the mayor's office maintains that New York's new $2 billion 911 emergency response system is working just fine.

In a hearing held on Friday, Deputy Mayor Caswell Holloway defended the new system against a panel of angry city council members, who charge that the updated technology has done nothing to improve emergency response times, despite taking nearly a decade and billions of dollars to implement.

"This administration has invested over $2 billion of much-needed city resources into a 911 system that is no more reliable today, nearly 10 years after they started this project," said Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, D-Queens.

"It's worse than my GPS, in terms of the breakdowns that are taking place," said Councilman Fernando Cabrera, D-Bronx. "The simple answer is, go back to the old system," said Stephen Cassidy, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association.

But in a detailed PowerPoint presentation that spanned more than an hour, Holloway illustrated, point-by-point, the inner-workings of the new system, called ICAD.

Holloway downplayed accusations that the system was "glitchy," saying that the times it went down were actually intentional—operators began using the back-up "slip system," which entails call details being handwritten on pieces of paper and shuttled to dispatchers by runners—as precaution after screens momentarily froze up.

"Because it was a new system, they had not yet had the experience of a screen freezing up," he said. "As a precaution, they went to the slip system, but later figured out that a simple reset of the screen—which takes less than 60 seconds—would have brought it back up."

He said that the slips have served as the city's back-up system for decades, despite its depiction in the media as an antiquated last resort. In fact, the previous system relied on slips for two hours each month, when it was brought offline for maintenance—meaning roughly 15,000 incidents each year were handled via paper. He added that ICAD can be updated while remaining online.

As for accusations that the death of Ariel Russo, the 4-year-old who was tragically killed on June 4 after an unlicensed driver hit her near Amsterdam Avenue and W. 97th Street, could have been prevented had the system properly delivered the call, Holloway said that, from a technological standpoint, ICAD had done its job.

"The one conclusion that we have reached in this investigation, as far as the technology is concerned, is that the ICAD system sent the incident as the technology is designed to do," he said. "The part of the investigation that we don’t know is, was this time longer than it should have been? And if so, why?" He added that the city is in the process of conducting a full investigation.

Another bone of contention for the council is that dispatch processing times are not sufficiently transparent, since currently, response time is calculated not when a 911 operator answers the phone, but when FDNY receives information from call takers. Similarly, a fire company or ambulance is considered to have "arrived" when it reaches the address, not the individual needing assistance.

Holloway said that the lack of documentation of end-to-end response time was another failure of the former system—the new technology will accurately capture the time spent between an operator answering and help being dispatched.

But Crowley was not interested in hearing Holloway's justifications of ICAD, particularly when it came to Russo's death.

"Every second counts when you’re in a life or death situation," she said. "You relied too much on technology that day."