Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The list has grown

The list of things I have been "officially" told not to ever do again at work has grown by one.

Let me explain. All of our front line fire equipment has a mobile computer installed. That computer is connected with dispatch via wireless communication. When a crew is dispatched to an emergency, dispatch sends detailed information to that crews computer. It has a nice map feature, driving directions, caution notes and what information dispatch has gained from the caller(s).

Now understand that I have been in the dispatch center. It looks like mission control for a moon landing, only with more computer screens. Some of the dispatch stations have as many as four screens and I assume that many computers. The radios are computer controlled. EVERYTHING is computer controlled.

Since things happen, and sometimes connections get lost, dispatch "tests" our communications each and every day. They send a message in the form of an "e-mail" to the mobile computer on all apparatus. We are to reply to them, so that they know we have 2-way communication.

On the "day it happened", I was standing outside my rig when I heard the "you've got mail" alert over the computer. I remember thinking "this will be funny". And now, I have been told in no uncertain terms, that I am never to send a reply such as this;

Failure in node 1337, cascade communication shutdown in progress.
Complete system failure eminent.


Communication system will shut down in 10 minutes."

In less than 10 minutes after I sent that, the operator at the fire console had contacted the shift supervisor, who had contacted the communications supervisor. He had in turn called the cities computer specialist on call, who had called the IT departments manager at home. The IT supervisor then called dispatch to talk the supervisor, who then called the fire chief who was on his way to work. The Chief then called my Battalion Chief who was forced to call my Captain.

And you know what? They didn't even ask me nicely not to ever do it again.

Mr Fixit


farmist said...

if you haven't already, you need to read:

TOTWTYTR said...

That is too funny. As both a paramedic and an IT geek, I can see both the humor and the horror.

Fortunately, in our somewhat antiquated CAD system, all you'd get is a chuckle.

And a late trip that would send you to the other side of the city for a hangnail.