TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Fatal Failure Halts Installation of 911 Caller-ID System

Fatal Failure Halts Installation of 911 Caller-ID System

Monty Solomon (
Thu, 26 May 2005 00:31:37 -0400

By David Abel, Globe Staff | May 25, 2005

A Hopkinton mother who lived about three blocks from a fire station
died last week after a glitch in a new 911 caller-identification
system that is being installed statewide failed to find her home,
state officials and local police said yesterday.

The death of the 49-year-old woman who dialed 911 and then apparently
stopped breathing, officials said, has led the Massachusetts Statewide
Emergency Telecommunications Board to suspend all planned
installations of the 911 equipment. Board officials said similar
problems have been found in other communities with the system.

Verizon has a state contract to install the Vesta equipment, which is
designed to allow 911 operators to better locate cellphone callers, in
every community throughout the state at a cost of about $75 million,
said Paul J. Fahey, executive director of the state's telecommunications
board. So far, he said, 16 communities in Massachusetts have received
the system since installations began last fall. Hopkinton was the

State officials are working with Verizon to determine why the system
failed, Fahey said, and the phone company has supplied 911 operators
with ways to trace future calls that cannot be located.

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