3 posts • joined 22 May 2018
20+ years ago I was primary support for the state's ambulance dispatch system - 000/999/911 calls come in and are sent to the ambulance dispatcher to send a resource. For some reason we were doing an upgrade in the early morning (less emergency calls in case something goes wrong) and as a precaution my off-sider was on-site as well. It was a home-grown Pick system running on Pr1me minis with a 3GL green screen front end. The upgrade went fine, but while I was looking around the system I saw a file that I thought wasn't needed so I deleted it. Immediate chaos - everything stopped. Mad scramble for paper and pencil so emergency calls could be recorded and ambulances dispatched. Fortunately we had a live backup system so after a few minutes of panic, we copied the missing file from the backup system and restarted and everything's back to normal.
Always got by off-sider to look over my shoulder after that and he didn't like playing with the system.
What alarms ?
Our local shiny new multi-billion dollar teaching hospital had its first generator test under full load but low fuel levels meant that operating theatres lost power during operations (one surgeon was the head of the Australian Medical Association) and people got stuck in lifts.
The inquiry found that maintenance staff had ignored the low fuel warning alarms for several days, and anyway the contractor hadn't told the hospital that the test was going to take place.