NEW YORK (PIX11) — Are problems with the city’s new 911 systems minor kinks or major glitches that could cost lives? Members of the city council will attempt to get some answers to tough questions Friday during a special joint hearing into the 911 emergency system.
The hearing, during which Deputy Mayor Cas Halloway, is expected to testify was scheduled to start at 10:30 am. Glitches in the city’s 911 system could cause deadly delays that cost New Yorkers their lives. At least 3 times since the system went on line last month it has shut down and the council is looking to get to the bottom of the problem.
One case in which the system came into question is the tragic death of 4 year old Ariel Russo. She was hit and killed on the Upper West Side by a teen driving an SUV who was unlicensed and running from police. Her parents are going to testify this morning and are suing the city over the response time after the accident. Her grandmother was also critically injured.
Fire officials say a dispatcher didn’t see the call delaying the response time by about 4 minutes. The family is suing the city forth 40 million dollars.
By phone council member Elizabeth Crowley of of Queens who chairs the Fire and Criminal Justice committee told PIX 11 “It’s time for the Mayors office to answer some tough questions about the emergency 911 system.” She went on to say in the case of Ariel Russo ” A medical dispatcher needed to be added to a conference call but that never happened.”
The same Alabama company that built this system is also building one in Boston. They are so concerned about problems here that the firefighters union planned to send a group to New York on a fact finding mission to hear first hand about the problems.