Broward County's First Responders Hope Emergency Communication Issues Will Be Resolved - NBC 6 South Florida

Broward County's First Responders Hope Emergency Communication Issues Will Be Resolved



    Emergency Communications System Being Criticized

    NBC 6's Marissa Bagg reports on the latest developments related to Broward County's emergency communications systems.

    (Published Tuesday, May 8, 2018)

    What to Know

    • Issues related to emergency communications have occurred in mass casualty events in South Florida.

    • Broward County's first responders are hoping such issues never occur again.

    Following some failures by the emergency communication system, such as 911, Broward County's first responders are hoping the problems do not occur again.

    Broward County will buy a new communications system that should add bandwidth and channels for police and paramedics to avoid issues like throttling during emergencies. It should be in place by 2020.

    Confusion spread due to a communication system malfunction in January 2017 during the Fort Lauderdale airport shooting as Broward County deputies searched for a second shooter, who did not exist.

    During the Parkland school shooting tragedy on Feb. 14, similar issues occurred as police radios were overwhelmed and first responders said communication malfunctioned as they searched for Nikolas Cruz.

    There is an independent investigation to see how radio transmissions possibly failed during the Parkland shooting.

    In late April, as an outage affected Broward County's 911 system, a Davie mother frantically, and unsuccessfully, called for medical assistance to help save her son's life.

    “I’m thinking to myself – who else is dead because they didn’t answer?” the mother said.

    Broward County Commissioner Michael Udine said an emergency system failure is an issue of life and death.

    "Too many people are getting on the same channel at once and it's causing a slowdown and in some cases slowing it down so the system doesn't crash," Udine said. "The technical people say that's what they want to happen so the system doesn't crash but to the public and the police officers using these radios that's a problem that needs to be fixed."

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