Wednesday, April 29, 2009

No, No, it's not like that

It has been said that firefighters could break a bowling ball.

Well, I'm here to tell you that that is a gross exaggeration! For one thing they hardly ever buy us bowling balls. And for another, the ones they do buy are defective. That's right, defective.

We just seem to spotlight the intrinsic flaws.

A case in point:

A new jail/detention facility was being build in our area. Since we responded to the jail often for EMS, we took tours and got some briefings on how to get in and such. This jail was to be Ultra-secure. They had cameras everywhere, looking at everything. The entrance in the rear had a "Sally Port", a drive through with locking garage doors where they could drop off prisoners.

The command center had eleventy-billion dollars worth of computer controlled access. The security consultant had assured them that this system was the most advanced, most secure system in all the universe. Or something like that, they were very proud of it. For the most secure areas, employees had to have an ID card which was scanned, then they had to scan their thumbprint and input their own personal security code. The system was so secure, and so smart that all three had to be used to get out of the "Sally Port" area.

Of course the Sally Port area is where we, the firemen/paramedics entered. Of course, we had no ID badges to scan nor did we have security codes to input.

But God had given us thumbs. And sitting right beside the exit door was the thumbprint scanner/security pad. Having determined that the prisoners hangnail did not in fact require immediate transport to the ER, we left through the open door of the Sally Port. But not before someone (I will not confirm that is was or was not me) placed their thumb on the scan pad.

Putting your thumb on these particular scanners, in "Teh most sekur place EVAR!" set in motion an automatic sequence. That same sequence the designers were so proud of; It scanned the print, and waited for the badge and code.......and waited.......and waited.......

I don't know how long it took for the system to do it, nor do I know how much of the building actually went into lock down. And really, was there anything so important that folks couldn't wait 5 or 30 minutes do do?

Personally, I feel better knowing that we helped highlight that particular security design flaw. And I'm sure the folks in the jail will be happy about it time.

Mr Fixit

1 comment:

TOTWTYTR said...

When I was doing admin/tech work I don't know how many times I called a vendor for a replacement part and was told, "I don't think we stock those, no one has ever broken one."

One of my new partners can get into one of the most securely locked areas in our HQ building... with a pair of trauma shears.