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Thursday, October 31, 2013

TRIMET RADIO SYSTEM THREAT TO PUBLIC SAFETY SAYS BRUCE HANSEN PRES ATU 757

TriMet’s Multi-Million Dollar Radio System Continues to Fail

DISPATCH CALL HERE 

“TriMet’s multi-million dollar radio system continues to be plagued with serious problems,” reports Amalgamated Transit Union President Bruce Hansen. Yesterday, October 30th, Bus 2808 was at the intersection of 185th and SW Farmington Road. The time was approximately 11:10 a.m. A horrified bus operator watched as an automobile struck a pedestrian. It was obvious that the pedestrian was seriously injured. The bus operator quickly tried to summon assistance by punching the bus’s emergency alarm.


What was supposed to happen was that an alarm would sound in TriMet dispatch and the dispatcher would summon ambulance, police and fire to the scene.

What actually happened when the alarm sounded threw the dispatch crew into a panic. When dispatchers answered the alarm, all they heard were muffled words that sounded like “I am in…” Three words and then the entire radio system, covering the whole district, went dead.

The dispatchers were frantic. They knew there was an emergency somewhere on Bus 2808’s route. They didn’t know why the system was down but until it was back up, they were cut off from all operators.

In an effort to jump-start the communication, the entire system was shut down and re-booted. That process takes six to ten minutes. And they had no way of knowing whether the re-boot would work.

While the computer technicians frantically worked to bring the radio system up, the dispatchers tried to determine where to send help. They reached a road supervisor, via his hand held radio, and he began driving the route of the bus. Luckily, the supervisor quickly found the bus and help was summoned to the seriously injured pedestrian.

“Unfortunately, the new system continues to fail,” says Hansen. “The stress these repeat radio system failures place on the dispatchers, operators and supervisors is tremendous. In the last month, the system has failed at least three times. That is three times too many when lives are at risk.” Hansen blames the radio problems on the fact that TriMet never involved the dispatchers in the radio system selection process. “The workers’ expertise was once again ignored during the multi-million dollar purchase. In the past, the workers were involved and the end result was equipment that worked better and had fewer problems.”

SILENT ALARM CALL HERE

1 comment:

Jason McHuff said...

The silent alarm audio can be heard here:
Part 1

Part 2

Part 3