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City Finalizing Plan For Changes To 911 System

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It's been a year since the city released a consultant's report detailing how it might fix its 911 system, and City Hall is now putting the finishing touches on how exactly it plans to adopt these recommendations. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.

A year ago, the mayor released a report examining the city's 911 system. It had 14 recommendations.

Now, an administration official says City Hall is finalizing which ones it will be adopting.

As part of the review, the administration is expected to adopt a new way to calculate response times.

Currently, the response time is measured when a first responder is sent out to an emergency. The administration plans to add the time when a dispatcher is taking the call.

Critics have long said this time should be included.

"They leave a lot of facts and figures out the equation and say, 'Yes, everything's improved,'" said Vincent Variale of the uniformed EMS officers' union. "But they don't tell the whole story. They're telling half truths."

The administration is finalizing the changes as the entire system comes under fire.

In the past month, the city's new 911 computer system has crashed several times. Twice, dispatchers had to use pen and paper to log calls.

The mayor's office argued that not a single call was missed.

The family of a 4-year-old claims a four-minute delay in dispatching emergency services to a car accident may have contributed to her death.

"911 is the foundation, in a lot of ways, of New Yorkers' public safety system, and New Yorkers need to know when they pick up that phone, they are calling a system that is sound seven days a week, 365 days a year," said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who is also a Democratic candidate for mayor.

As the administration finalizes how it will change the 911 system, an appellate court is forcing City Hall to release draft versions of the report.

"It would be nice as the oversight body to have the unedited report," said Queens Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. "We should be getting it soon. We should be able to look at it before Friday, and then we can ask questions that we've been waiting to ask for some time now."

More could be learned next week, when the Bloomberg administration testifies before the City Council on the city's emergency 911 system. They are expected to cover the so-called glitches that some say paralyze progress. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP