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911 Emergency Telephone System

February 18, 2001 | SUE FOX, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Hoping to ease the burden on the city's overloaded 911 system, Los Angeles officials plan to build a $10-million system to handle nonemergency calls. But switching to an all-purpose 311 system is so complicated that planners say it will take more than a year to create even a bare-bones network. Wiring and staffing the new network is only part of the challenge.
January 28, 2001 | SUE FOX, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Nine years after Los Angeles voters approved $235 million in bonds to upgrade the city's outdated 911 system, the new emergency dispatch centers are still under construction and more than 200,000 calls a year are going unanswered. That's the worst tally for abandoned calls that the 911 system has logged in five years, according to Los Angeles Police Department records.
July 14, 2000
Ventura County's police dispatch centers have an emergency of their own--long hours, high stress, limited pay and poor morale. These factors have combined to decimate the ranks of the women and men who respond to the county's 911 and law enforcement calls--to the point that some dispatchers are working 80 hours of overtime a month. Supervisors at the county's eight centers worry that dispatcher fatigue is leading to slower responses and missed calls.
May 13, 2000
The City Council on Friday agreed to spend $40 million over the next seven years to implement a 311 phone system aimed at handling nonemergency calls and easing the burden on 911 emergency phone lines. Voting unanimously, council members agreed to move forward on the system, which will handle 20,000 calls a day once it is fully operational in 2007. Los Angeles police and city officials have said repeatedly that residents need an easy-to-remember phone number to use for less urgent problems.
April 4, 2000 | From Reuters
A computer virus that could disrupt 911 emergency services is being investigated after it was detected in the Houston area, the FBI said in a statement on Monday. Search warrants were issued in the case last week, but no arrests have been made, said a spokesman for the agency, which has made computer security a top priority since leading Web sites came under cyberattack in February.
March 28, 2000
Come July, residents who dial 911 because they need police cars, fire engines or ambulances won't be ringing their local police station anymore. The calls will be routed to a new building in El Segundo, thanks to a decision City Council members made recently. City officials decided to combine service with El Segundo because Hermosa Beach's equipment is outdated and needs a $200,000 renovation, said Police Chief Val Strasser. Hermosa Beach will shave $100,000 off its dispatch budget.
January 8, 2000
In an effort to slash response times, county fire dispatchers are prioritizing medical 911 calls, differentiating between the scraped knees and the massive heart attacks before sending out an emergency crew. It's a dramatic change from the way ambulance and fire crews have dispatched in the past. Typically, all calls went out as a Code 3--full speed ahead with lights and sirens blaring--even if the emergency was nothing more than someone stuck at home with a nasty flu bug.
December 30, 1999 | From Bloomberg News
A credit card system in Britain and the 911 emergency response system in Charlotte, N.C., already have reported disruptions related to the Y2K computer changeover, a senior U.S. official said Wednesday. These regional examples "may be illustrative of the kind of glitches that are going to occur along the way here and around the world," said John Koskinen, chairman of President Clinton's Council on the Year 2000 Conversion.
November 16, 1999 | CAITLIN LIU
Donning hard hats, Los Angeles city and law enforcement officials symbolically broke ground Monday for the new 911 emergency dispatch center being built at 23001 Roscoe Blvd. "Today we come one step closer in making Los Angeles the safest city in America," Mayor Richard Riordan said at the ceremony on the construction site.
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