Written by Jerry Riley
Wednesday, 21 August 2013 00:00
No, not going in reverse and not even a back up system for your computer, to protect your information, or whatever is in your computer worth backing up.
I’m referring to emergency backup systems, like the generator at the hospital, to make sure they have electrical power if the lines go down. I also know the hospital regularly runs its generator, so they are comfortable that the system will function in an emergency when needed.
At a recent County committee meeting the members were talking about the 911 backup system. There is equipment set up to operate the 911 call and dispatch system in case the primary 911 system crashes, is damaged or otherwise cannot operate. I asked how often the backup system is operated/tested. I was totally disappointed, but not surprised by the answer. The backup system, funded by tax/surcharge money, was tested/used once and so many problems surfaced that, as far as multiple sources at the County level know, the problems have not been corrected, or even tested again - and, what a revoltin’ development this is!
The backup system can be manually connected to the phone network by an outside agency, but apparently no one knows if the switchover would be completed in minutes, hours or days. Both systems cannot be used at the same time, and routine testing of each seems doubtful. The question of backup seemed to be centered around the phone lines between Eureka and Roanoke, but no one seemed to be concerned with testing the actual backup 911 system. This is actually the responsibility of the independent 911 board, which is funded by a special telephone tax, and not the County. I was told that this situation would be corrected with the upgraded phone system, whenever that might be.
A lot of people ask me why I attend public meetings. I usually say that is the only way to know what is going on. For instance at a recent meeting I learned, as did many of the elected officers, that the recent “upgraded” phone system did not correct this problem, as they were under the impression it would have. How else would I have known this?
Jerry Riley comments for the News Bulletin. He is a retired telecommunications supervisor.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 August 2013 14:00