Shouldn't New York's Emergency dispatch system be well protected from the computer problems that plague the rest of us? The city has spent a lot of time and money on its ongoing Emergency Communications Transformation Program (which NASA was recently called in to help with). And yet still, the FDNY's computers decided to go offline not once but twice this weekend. Luckily a rep for FDNY tells us that "No Operational, Response, or Patient issues reported," and that "response times remained at normal levels."

The first outage occurred between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. Friday and the second incident came between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. Saturday. During that time dispatchers had to take calls by hand and then read incident information over their radios—just like the old days (normally much of that info gets sent directly to their computers). Luckily, the FDNY trains for these kinds of situations. FDNY spokesperson Frank Dwyer reminds us that, "The over the air process is not foreign to EMS members."

As for what caused the system to go off-line, that is still "being reviewed." In the meantime the FDNY wants to remind any New Yorkers who might be freaked out by the idea that government technology might not be infallible: "our members train regularly to insure that if this does happen, we are prepared to continue normal operations."