OEC "Upgrade" Debacle
- The operations floor at Chicago’s 911 center is getting a $31 million upgrade stalled by contract irregularities, but it’s turning into a nightmare that threatens to slow response times to 911 calls, employees contend.
Dispatchers and call takers describe a host of problems, ranging from dropped 911 calls and a new answering system that demands more manpower to computers that no longer allow call takers to monitor radio communications at fire scenes.
They also complain about a new floor plan that moved fire and EMS dispatchers assigned to handle 911 calls from Chicago’s North Side away from call takers who do the same, preventing the two groups from communicating in a way that could speed response times.
Gee, what could possibly go wrong? Nothing involving a high-rise fire or plane crash or building collapse we're sure. Or on the police side, during a pursuit where a call-taker might be on the phone with someone who isn't on-duty or isn't the police attempting to assist in the apprehension of a fleeing suspect.
The single bright spot in the article is it says that the contract to revamp everything is a "single source contract" to Motorola. That might bring about an end the incompatibility problems that endanger all first responders, every single day, since that $300 million monstrosity opened.