TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: NYC 1975 CO Fire -- Supposed it Happened Today?

Re: NYC 1975 CO Fire -- Supposed it Happened Today?
25 Jul 2006 06:53:23 -0700

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: How about something a lot more simple?
> _Do not ever_ leave a central office unattended, anytime, anywhere. Even
> in an office which is 'usually' deserted on weekends, etc you schedule
> at least one worker to be there nights and weekends. Give that person
> something to do -- for example data entry work -- and have them go
> around once an hour more or less checking all the nooks and crannies
> where problems could develop. In the case of Hinsdale, Ameritech could
> have had one or two people on their payroll for several years mainly
> as watchdogs and still come out ahead of what the 1988 fire cost them.
> PAT]

But if I understand Hinsdale, the problem was that alarms were
ignored, not that the fire was ignored. Had they responded to the
alarms the damage would've been reduced.

In the case of 1975 Second Ave, IIRC the NYT articles, there were
several people working in the building and they caught it.

Given the vast number of telco buildings, I think they're record is
pretty good. The issue is fire prevention as much as fighting. I
don't know if they ever found the cause of the NYC fire.

Question: In looking through the Archives at the NYC brochure, is
there any way to page through quickly each separate frame? The only
way I saw is to manually change the page number in the address bar.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: You are correct on that, Lisa. Regards
Hinsdale, 'catching the alarm' was left to clerks in Springfield, IL
a couple hundred miles away who chose to simply ignore it. When the
weekend duty-supervisor in Chicago got in their car, drove out to
Hinsdale, saw the smoke pouring out of the windows, tried to use the
phones to call the Fire Department, discovered the phones all dead
they went out on the street _and asked a passer-by to 'call the
fire department from some other phone'. We will give that passer-by
credit and assume they attempted to call from some payphone somewhere
around town, but _found it dead also by that time_. Finally, when
several more minutes had passed with no fire department arrival, the
supervisor then got in their own car and drove to the fire station.

I will suggest that even a minimum-wage clerk who was paid to sit in
the office and do data-entry work in a lacsidaisical way while
watching television or otherwise screwing around that day (and making
rounds of the facilities every hour or two [maybe while on the way to
the employee kitchen to get another sandwhich or can of cola out of
the fridge] would have smelled the smoke, muttered 'WTF!' to no one in
particular and called both the Fire Department and the responsible
supervisor on the phone and the job would have been handled _much
quicker and less expensively_ than it turned out ... then he would
have finished his sandwhich and can of cola and gone back to his/her
data entry work for the rest of the afternoon. And most of that
employee's payroll costs would get charged back to the data-entry
department or whoever.

Springfield chose to first ignore the alarm, saying, "Well, it had
been raining and windy all day, that alarm had 'falsed' a couple times
already that day and Chicago had told us not to trouble them with
a bunch of false alarms like that." So much for the false economy of
an alarm system no one pays attention to. PAT]

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