Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Detroit Loses Its 9-1-1 Service for 6 1/2 Hours

According to an article in this morning's Detroit Free Press, Detroiters lost their ability to call 9-1-1 from a landline yesterday afternoon. Residents were still able to call from a cell phone, but not from a conventional phone. The outage lasted for approximately 6 1/2 hours and began at 2 p.m.

9-1-1 is the cornerstone to Detroit's emergency response system. Police, fire and EMS are all dispatched by 9-1-1 operators. It is completely unacceptable for the 9-1-1 system to be down for even 1 hour. 6 1/2 hours is, in my opinion, inexcusable.

The article does report that citizens were able to reach the 9-1-1 call center by dialing the City's back-up emergency telephone number, which is (313) 224-1212. However, when a pair of drug dealer start arguing in front of your house and one of them pulls out a gun - something that happened to me a year ago - hunting for a back-up telephone number isn't a viable option.

9-1-1 is something that simply has to work.
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