Dispatch glitch cause sought

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Dispatch glitch cause sought

EMERGENCY: Fire Authority officials don't believe the outage was related to Y2K.

January 11, 2000

By JENIFER B. McKIM The Orange County Register

The Orange County Fire Authority on Monday was trying to determine why an expensive battery-powered backup system failed Sunday, causing a hectic 70-minute blackout at the authority's emergency dispatch center.

Fire Authority spokesman Paul Hunter said fire officials and representatives of the company responsible for the backup system  called an "Uninterruptable Power System"  will carry out testing this week to see what went wrong.

The system was installed in the early 1990s and was "very expensive," said Hunter, who was uncertain of the exact cost. Representatives of Liebert Corp., the system's maker, were not available for comment Monday.

The dispatch center went dark at 11:30 a.m. Sunday  lights, computers and phone lines went dead. The center is used to dispatch firefighters and emergency medical technicians.

Six fire employees quickly implemented a contingency plan by hooking up a telephone attached to an outside line, booting up battery-powered laptop computers and using flashlights to see in the windowless room.

Hunter didn't believe the problems were Y2K-related because the agency carried out testing before the turn of the new year. He doubted the possibility of sabotage because only known people are allowed into the area.

"It freaks you out a little bit but it didn't affect anything," said Hunter. "The big deal is we are wondering why the backup system didn't work."

-- Homer Beanfang (Bats@inbellfry.com), January 11, 2000


http://www.canoe.ca/OntQueTicker/CANOE-wire.911-System-Restored. html

January 10, 2000

Switching station caused 911 system to crash

TORONTO (CP) -- The emergency 911 telephone system east of the city was restored Monday afternoon after it was out of service for five hours. A problem at Bell Canada's switching station in Oshawa caused Durham region residents to have their phone line paralysed when they called the emergency number. Police publicized a backup number while the system was down and said no serious emergencies occurred while the problem was being fixed.

-- Homer Beanfang (Bats@inbellfry.com), January 11, 2000.

"Hunter didn't believe the problems were Y2K-related because the agency carried out testing before the turn of the new year."

While this would certainly reduce the possibility of a y2k-related error, how many IT professionals would argue that testing eliminates the possibility of error?

-- (RUOK@yesiam.com), January 11, 2000.

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