The pencil and paper...
...could maybe be well used sorting out some documentation!
San Francisco authorities appear to be having network problems again, after the Fire Department lost the password for its backup network in the middle of a major shout. The revelation came into an inquest into a major blaze in the North Beach area of the city on New Year's Eve which left 48 people homeless, the San Francisco …
So instead of standing around doing nothing because they couldn't get on the computer they fought the fire.
Wait till the NHS computer system finally gets running - you wont be able to stop somebody bleeding to death without first filling in your key objective target achievement status
.. my jaw just got damaged when it hit the ground..
Awesome. I bet their main form of record keeping is on parchment scrolls, using feathers and ink.
Having said that, it's clearly not mission critical kit and you must commend them for not having it on a sticky note near the screen. Applaus..
We've all been to too many places where the computer system has failed and everyone is just completely, utterly helpless.
At least these guys can remember how to do things the "old way"!!! You'd much rather them do that than stand around with a house on fire waiting for the damn box to reboot, or wait on hold for technical support.
for many years to hire more minorities and women. As a result, they had to lower the requirements for entrance exams. The same was done for promotions. The SFFD is now one of the most diverse in the country. Is using race as the basis for hiring and promotion at least partly a reason for the seemingly lackadaisical attitude of the department?
No one has bothered to ask, WHICH computer system was down. The 911 system was not down.
The most critical system was NOT down. This little IT issue was a big deal? Really, City Gov't?
A bigger deal than the fact that people waited way too long for ambulances?
Did the SFFD tell you response times were met? And you fell for it?
Being in the Emergency Services IT biz myself, I can tell you the Battalion Chiefs use the GPS to track rig locations in the larger fires (think high-rise buildings or sprawling factories), and the people in 911 dispatch do a much better job when the locations show up on their computers. Plus, electronic dispatch to 20 units is a lot better than all the radio traffic it replaces while having the added bonus of timestamping for insurance and investigation purposes.
Do they need a computer to put out a fire? Of course not. But, like any other tool, it can make the job a LOT easier.
Speaking as an ex-volunteer (6+ years, Fort Bragg, CA VFD), computers are only used for record keeping, and not required for day to day operations. We found using paper & pencil to keep equipment maintenance records "on the fly" to be much faster than typing them into the computer ... although we did copy the paper into computer forms, which were backed up daily to Ukiah (the county seat), just in case.
San Francisco's city departments, on the other hand, are more about politics than they are about actually running the city. I suspect that some appointed, but otherwise useless, middle management or union rep was unable to kick back at her desk and follow the action, and got miffed. It's a tempest in a tea cup.
Try to remember that as big as it seems to be on the world stage, TheCity (and county of San Francisco) is really a tiny little place ... only 7 miles square, roughly. Why they have a need for computers in real time is beyond me ... in fact, I suspect that the SFFD could get away with POTS communications and do away with radios more powerful than walkie-talkies.
<<But as division chief Rob Dudgeon added, "We still had radios and cellphones. And it's not like we are going to have internet connection if we get hit with the Big One.">>
Er, excuse me, but after 9/11, the Christchurch earthquakes, and the Japanese earthquake/tsunami, the Internet actually worked when telephones didn't. It was designed to route around damage, and it does.
He said "its not like WE are going to have internet CONNECTION" which if the power is out, the lines are severed and goodness knows what else seems highly likely. Perfectly functional internet connectivity 100 miles away will be of little value to them...
Grief, isn't the lesson of Fukushima that if the really big events happen then *no* technology will be available in the local area. Sounds like the SF Fire department will be able to cope...
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