Software glitch in 911 dispatch center causing delays in Anderson Co.

 

ANDERSON Co. (WSPA) – The Anderson County 911 Dispatch center is experiencing computer glitches due to a software malfunction, according to Sheriff Chad McBride.

In a release sent to media Wednesday, McBride said the issues have, at times, resulted in individual dispatcher workstations freezing, thereby inhibiting a call taker’s ability to see available resources or determine closest emergency response vehicles.  On occasion, the software issue has caused the entire system to freeze.

“It’s delaying them and causing them to do things, and create extra time, that they wouldn’t normally spend to make sure that the calls got through,” said County Administrator Rusty Burns.”The quicker you get there, the quicker you can do some good. And it is a matter of seconds, not minutes, not hours. It’s seconds.”

The problem trickles down to first responders who are sent out to emergency situations.

Chief Jimmy Sutherland of the Anderson County Fire Department told 7 News on Wednesday that he waits for his pager to buzz to notify him of a call.  The longer it takes to get to him, the more dangerous a situation can become.

“Our whole county is volunteer, so that just adds more time on our response time,” said Chief Sutherland.

According to Burns, a number of trouble tickets have been filled out over the past 7 to 8 months.

He said the company Caliber Public Safety, which owns the dispatch software InterAct, didn’t respond to the issue until a few days ago.

“It’s that neat and clean. This is broke, fix it. But it wasn’t getting fixed,” Burns said.

He added that the Anderson County Sheriff’s office had to hire a consultant to get the company’s attention.

Upgrades to the system are scheduled for the week of October 2nd.

If that doesn’t fix the problem, Burns said the Sheriff’s Department may be forced to purchase a new system, costing between $600,000 and $700,000 dollars.

7 News did call Caliber Public Safety Wednesday night, but was not able to get anyone on the line.