Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Old Tech Left 911 Calls Unanswered in Louisiana After Ida

 In the years since Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans, the 911 system has undergone a major overhaul. The aging telephone system was replaced. Separate centers for medical, police and fire calls were consolidated under one roof. And new call-routing technology to prevent communications from going down during a disaster was scheduled to be installed early next year.

Then Hurricane Ida hit, and the 911 call center crashed, failing its first major test, according to The Washington Post. Calls for help didn’t go through. The center was offline for 13 hours last Monday. The Orleans Parish Communication District, which runs the dispatch center, had to use Facebook to tell people that if they had an emergency, they should walk to a nearby fire station or flag down a police officer to report it.

“Our technology is antiquated,” Tyrell Morris, the district’s executive director, told The Washington Post. Continue Reading

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