Wow....again how is it there were no problems with this system and now they are giving out disipline?
Hmmmm...something tells me this won't be getting any better any time soon.
Wrong-Way Dispatchers Say Recent Fire-Call Goofs Unified Call-Taking's Fault
NY Daily News - December 16, 2009
by Juan Gonzalez
The NYPD has disciplined 175 emergency dispatchers for giving wrong addresses about fires over the city's new Unified Call-Taking system in recent weeks.
The crackdown, following a string of highly publicized complaints from firefighters about bad addresses, has enraged the NYPD's civilian employees.
"We've been turned into scapegoats for problems in the computer system that the city hasn't fixed," one veteran dispatcher said. "Everyone is watching over our shoulders for every little mistake."
In 135 of the disciplinary cases, the dispatchers were docked vacation or sick time, said officials at District Council 37, the union for NYPD operators. The other 40 got warning letters.
Deputy Mayor Ed Skyler appeared to defend the dispatchers at a hearing last week.
"The overwhelming majority of UCT calls are handled appropriately," Skyler said. The number of human errors, he noted, was tiny compared with the more than 150,000 fire calls NYPD dispatchers transmitted since May.
Skyler and NYPD Deputy Chief Charles Dowd, who also appeared at the hearing, said nothing about the slew of command disciplines the NYPD has meted out.
Most of the nearly 2,000 complaints firefighters made about wrong addresses in recent months, were judged unfounded, FDNY spokesman Frank Gribbon said yesterday.
City officials are convinced the fire unions are inflating wrong address complaints because of fears that UCT will dramatically improve response time and lead to personnel cuts.
About 500 of those complaints that warranted further investigation were then forwarded to the NYPD, whose supervisors concluded that 175 were due to dispatcher mistakes.
But more than a dozen 911 dispatchers and supervisors who say they are frustrated by the crackdown told the Daily News that Police and Fire department brass are refusing to acknowledge big problems in the merged dispatch systems.
"There's thousands of addresses in our Sprint/CAD system that don't appear in the Fire Department's STARFIRE system," one supervisor said.
The STARFIRE system also automatically transposes cross-streets it receives from the police system, the dispatchers say. That can further confuse units dispatched to an emergency.
Such problems didn't matter before UCT, since dispatchers from each department kept their own information on emergency calls. Now that 911 operators are the only ones typing information into a unified system, compatibility has become a big deal.
Under the old system, when someone called 911 with a fire emergency, the NYPD operator would take preliminary information, then connect the caller to a fire dispatcher who would take over all questioning.
With UCT, the NYPD operator does all the interviewing and then sends the information on to FDNY dispatchers by computer.
Skyler and Dowd have repeatedly claimed that all NYPD dispatchers received eight hours of training in the new UCT system - something the workers dispute.
"The most training we got was about 2-1/2 hours," another dispatcher said.
The city only called in FDNY dispatchers for a new round of training for some of the 1,200 NYPD dispatchers after the uproar began.
"We're finally learning how STARFIRE receives the information, and what additional questions the fire dispatchers need us to ask," another 911 supervisor said.
8 Hours or 2 1/2, doesn't matter. Thats bloody near criminally negligent. How the hell can anyone expect someone to know their job after a few hours training? Even McDs gives their kids more than that!!
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12-17-2009, 08:51 AM #401
- Join Date
- Jan 2003
- Canuck Expat May be anywhere
12-17-2009, 03:37 PM #402
- Join Date
- Jan 2008
Sounds like it is a great idea with poor implementation and planning. This is something that happens to often in the world of Government Agencies. The biggest two problems are that the people who implement these things try to please everyone and have nothing to lose if it fails. There is rarely a supreme being who makes effective and efficient decisions. Instead, they play politics and try to please everyone. And the bigger the government organization or institution the worse it gets.
12-17-2009, 05:35 PM #403
Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 12-18-2009 at 07:18 PM. Reason: spelling correction"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY
12-18-2009, 06:44 PM #404
A Politician at his finest.Continually running his piehole and saying absolutely nothing .
12-18-2009, 10:51 PM #405
- Join Date
- Jan 2009
I dont know whats wrong with people anymore, Even the 8 hours they were supposedly getting training on the new system still seems like relatively little. I mean i would not expect to have 8 hours of training and be able to do a completely new job. then to have people cut your vacation hours, or send you threatening letters because you screwed up is crap too.
12-19-2009, 05:31 AM #406
- Join Date
- May 1999
- Here, There, Everywhere
And many of our Fire Alarm Dispatchers are hired from other agencies(it is a pay raise to come to our job), namely 911 call takers....and over 50% wash out and are sent back as they aren't capable of handling the increased pressure and technical nature of the job.
I've reported a crime or two to the PD...and you can tell the person on the other end is reading from a very tightly formed script and they don't deviate from it. And you can tell they probably weren't in the top half of their graduating class of GED recipients either.
They now have FADs listening to some calls, fined and disiplined over 100 police call takers, they maintain nothing is wrong and it works fine, it is burdened by HUGE cost over runs and has surpassed $2 Billion and they think they are going to "train" another unions members to do the job done by the FADs. Do you call a plumber when you need a carpenter?
Last edited by FFFRED; 12-19-2009 at 05:33 AM.
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