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[February 27, 2013]
Report: Mass call systems 'underperformed' during Waldo [Gazette, The (CO)]
(Gazette, The (CO) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) The two mass call systems used for reverse emergency notifications underperformed during the Waldo Canyon fire, report released Wednesday found.
"I have serious concerns about the performance of the MassCall system," study author Gary Klug wrote in the report, prepared for the El Paso-Teller Counties E911 Authority.
"The MassCall system appears to have substantially underperformed," Klug wrote. "Unless the system can be 'fine-tuned' to take the recipient locations ... into account and volumes increased without delivery error, it is not effective as a mass call delivery tool." The other system, known as the Communicator! NXT Server, also failed to meet expectations, said Klug, former chief engineer of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.
"In general, the NXT system seems to provide a useful tool to make emergency notifications and provide update messages (by voice, email and SMS/text) but is constrained by the number of circuits connecting it to the (telephone network)," he said.
"The capabilities of the NXT system need to be reviewed carefully if it is expected to deliver large volumes of concurrent messages in a short period of time," he said.
Klug found other deficiencies and made several recommendations, including requiring telecommunications providers to make their customer information available to emergency notification system providers.
"The Authority has verified that a telecommunications company did not provide telephone numbers and customer location information to the Authority for its ENS system and 9-1-1 database for individuals that perished in the fire," Klug wrote, adding that the couple had another provider besides CenturyLink or Comcast.
"Although it is completely unknown and beyond the scope of this report to consider whether the individuals that perished, would have survived if the Authority had this information," Klug wrote.
Stay tuned to gazette.com for updates.
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