From the Daily News:
By all accounts, an independent report on the city’s revamped, $2 billion 911 system is hotter than a four-alarm fire — helping to explain why Mayor Bloomberg is battling to keep the document under wraps.
He should give up the fight.
The mayor commissioned the consultant’s study after the city’s horrendous nonresponse to the 2010 Christmas blizzard. The goal was to ensure that emergency services were operating at peak efficiency and coordination.
A Virginia-based technology firm studied up on what happened and reportedly discovered significant glitches in the costly consolidation of police, fire and ambulance call-intake systems.
The Uniformed Firefighters Association, for one, contends that fire response times have risen, not declined, as Bloomberg has reported. Union President Steve Cassidy asserts that, under the new system, at least one portion of the time between the receipt of a call and the arrival of trucks at a fire is no longer counted.
The consultant may have reached the same conclusion, while also finding millions of dollars of waste in City Hall’s troubled effort to unify emergency response procedures.
From the NY Post:
The jewel in the crown of city government could use a little polishing.
It’s taking callers to the wildly successful 311 system longer to reach an operator because its staff has been trimmed by about 23 percent as a result of citywide budget cuts, officials said yesterday.
Records show that the average wait time for the first seven months of the 2012 fiscal year reached 65 seconds for most calls, compared to 30 seconds for the same period in 2011.
The number of calls picked up within 30 seconds — the city’s target — fell from 80 to 61 percent.