Public officials are demanding an investigation into the near-meltdown of the city’s 911 emergency system during Sandy’s wrath last month — refusing to accept Mayor Bloomberg’s assertion that it all worked “perfectly.”
“Failure to plan caused the system to fail, just as it failed during the December 2010 blizzard,” wrote Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Queens), chairwoman of the Fire and Criminal Justice Committee, in an open letter to Bloomberg.
“The city must seriously analyze the system’s shortcomings and seek answers that will help us better prepare for future disasters,” they demanded.
As The Post reported Monday, countless calls to 911 rang unanswered, were greeted by recordings or overwhelmed dispatchers unable to send help.
“By shining a light on the scope of this breakdown, The Post did the city a real service,” said de Blasio. “When the city sees a crisis, like a storm approaching, it has to assign the personnel and resources necessary to protect our people.”
The call center was woefully understaffed as well, as it dealt with as many as 50,000 calls an hour.
But Bloomberg has insisted that the system, which has been subject to an ongoing and over-budget $2 billion overhaul, worked “perfectly.”
He dismissed de Blasio and Crowley yesterday as ill-informed.
“They unfortunately don’t know anything,” Bloomberg said. “They don’t know what they’re talking about.”
De Blasio said frustrated — and worried — residents called his office and staffers during the storm when they couldn’t get through to 911.
Aides were able to contact the Office of Emergency Management and help facilitate the evacuations of three families, according to de Blasio’s office.
De Blasio urged Bloomberg to take a hard look at the 911 system.
“This demands more than flip remarks. People couldn’t get through to 911 with life-threatening emergencies,” he said. “There’s only one acceptable response to that kind of breakdown: Fix it.”
Hard to fix something when you refuse to admit there's a problem, as Bloomberg is doing.
And he continues to try and hide the scope of the problem by quashing an independent report that details just how bad the 911 system re-do is:
In a related development, the state Appellate Division issued a unanimous ruling ordering City Hall to release drafts of a controversial report that found the city’s new 911 system a failure.
The Post in April revealed that Bloomberg was hiding the scathing report to avoid the embarrassment that independent consultants found the system remains plagued with problems despite attempts to fix it.
His top officials had marked all copies of the 911 Call Processing Review — or 911 CPR — as drafts to circumvent public-records laws that allow government agencies to keep drafts of internal reports private.
The ruling, however, didn’t require City Hall to immediately release the report.
When will Bloomberg finally have to release the whole report?
Why isn't the 911 mess a huge scandal?
You can bet if this were David Dinkins at the helm and a 911 system pushed by his administration suffered near-catastrophic failure during Superstorm Sandy, the press would be all over it.
And yet, except for the Post stories, Bloomberg is getting a pass.
Bloomberg surely lives a charmed life.
Being a billionaire media mogul rumored to be in the market for the NY Times and the Financial Times surely helps.