NEW YORK (PIX11) – A former dispatcher, now field worker for the FDNY Emergency Management, spoke to PIX11 exclusively about lapses in the city’s brand new 911 operating system. She asked to remain anonymous as she shared her own frightening moments on Sunday afternoon when her young daughter was seriously ill and she was in need of help and called 9-1-1 herself.
“I said I needed EMS and she proceeded to connect me and the line rang and rang and rang,” said the employee.
No stranger to complaints from colleagues regarding the new system, she said she witnessed the kings herself as a member of the public. After calling 9-1-1, she was told by the police dispatcher, who attempted to connect her to an EMS dispatcher, that “Nobody is answering. I put the job in. I’m so sorry.”
With no answer she says the police dispatcher could not guarantee an EMS dispatcher had received an alert for the emergency call, leaving this frantic mother no other choice but to take matters into her own hands.
“I had to hang up the phone and call my own station to ensure this job was in the system for my child,” she said.
Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano has denied any issues with the new system when asked about potential glitches this past Friday, when the issues were brought to light last week as a reason for a delay in emergency response after a tragic accident led to the death of 4 year Ariel Russo in the Upper West Side. The FDNY placed nearly full blame on a dispatcher leaving her post, but the union has over and over again defended the employee and insisted she never left and that it was instead a system problem causing critical delays to response time.
The FDNY continued to insist Monday the new 911 system is working properly and individual complaints and issues are being looked at.