For months, the county has had intermittent problems with the software that works with its computer-aided dispatch center.
(TNS) - Anderson County officials are hopeful but cautious as they wait to see whether a series of electronic patches, database rebuilds and software upgrades will fix problems that could affect people who call 911.
For months, the county has had intermittent problems with the software that works with its computer-aided dispatch center, or CAD. The problems have caused computers to freeze while 911 callers shared details of emergencies, and they have rendered ambulances invisible to dispatchers who monitor their locations on screens in front of them.
The provider of the software, Caliber Public Safety, pledged to send a team to create fixes this week after an Independent Mail report on the problems and a tense conversation with Anderson County officials who said they were concerned about the company's failure to respond to critical issues. Those issues included dozens of software-related "trouble tickets" the county had open with the company, some more than a year old.
"The company's technicians have been with us for several days and they have been updating systems, redoing databases and updating all the software," said Sandy Purdy, the county's computer-aided dispatch center administrator. "Now it is kind of a wait-and-see thing. We really hope it works like they say it will. We expect to get some follow-up on it next week, so they can make any type of corrections, and we think we'll have a deeper follow-up in about a month, because sometimes bugs don't show themselves right away."
Mike Mitchell, the chief deputy at the Anderson County Sheriff's Office, said Friday the county has been fortunate that the software problems have caused "no major interruptions" in service when people call 911 for help.
"They have done a lot of upgrades and now we have to hope that things are going to work the way they need to," Mitchell said. "You know how sometimes when you update an iPhone there is something that comes out later to fix some issue? We might have something like that happen, where there is a fix we won't know we need until later."
Efforts to get comment from Caliber Public Safety on the software problems, service delays and fixes have been unsuccessful. Bob Stoker, Caliber Public Safety's client liaison and Anderson County's point of contact, said Friday that he could not offer comment, but would pass a message along to someone who could. This article will be updated with the company's response if one is received.
Sheriff Chad McBride said dispatchers have adapted to the challenges the software problems have presented them.
"They've gone old school when they needed to, taking handwritten notes and passing them along when they have had issues with the software," he said. "We are glad that the company sent a team to do some work. They say they will keep doing what it takes until everything is working right and we are relying on them to keep their word."
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