The city's 911 system crashed this morning, forcing EMS dispatchers to revert to plain ol' pen and paper between 7:38 and 8:09 a.m., and FDNY spokesperson said.
Emergency workers fielded around 100 calls during the 30 minutes the system was down, the spokesperson said. According to the Daily News, NYPD operators also experienced technical problems at the same time EMS computers were down. Isn't that comforting?
The trouble with the system started immediately following its launch in May, and gained media attention following the death of 4-year-old Ariel Russo, who was hit by a car on June 4. She died after some say the system failed to properly dispatch an ambulance in enough time to save her.
Despite its persistent glitches, officials maintain that the system is doing its job. During a hearing last month, Deputy Mayor Cass Holloway said the prior system was brought offline several times a month for maintenance, and that the pen-and-paper strategy was a perfectly effective back-up.
For those keeping score at home, the 911 system cost nearly $88 million. A pen costs less than a dollar at Staples.