Computer Crash Puts SF 911 Calls on Manual

SF 911 calls on manual mode Thursday; no delays reported.

By Chris Roberts
|  Friday, May 13, 2011  |  Updated 12:22 PM PDT
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Computer Crash Puts SF 911 Calls on Manual

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It was retro-day at the San Francisco Police and Fire Departments on Thursday -- but it wasn't old-school uniforms or vehicles for the city's emergency responders.

Emergency dispatchers at the city's Department of Emergency Management had to field calls and dispatch police and fire resources manually after their computer systems failed Thursday morning, according to the San Francisco Appeal.

The computer-aided dispatch system, also known as the CAD system, failed at about 9:40 a.m. Thursday, forcing dispatchers to respond to 911 calls and inform police and fire officials of emergencies manually, using old-fashioned technology like paperwork and phone calls, according to Department of Emergency Management spokeswoman Laura Adleman. Service continued uninterrupted, and "there has been no impact on 911 services," she emphasized.

With a backup computer system in place after lunchtime, dispatchers returned to a computer-assisted deployment system by 1 p.m. The main CAD system, however, remains down, and there's no estimate as to when it would return to functionality.

But that's no problem, Adleman said. "That's why we have the backup system... in place," she said.

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