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July 11 - Fire System Emergency Switch Malfunction Disrupts E911 Center Operations

Category: Local Govts & Politics

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

July 11, 2018 - Based on a preliminary investigation, it has been determined that a fire system emergency switch, which controls the fire system used for the server and data center in a separate part of building, malfunctioned on July 10. As a precaution all occupants of the building were evacuated while the malfunction was investigated.

After determining there were no life safety issues, the majority of the E911 operators and staff were allowed to return to the building after a few minutes. As a precaution, several E911 operators went to the E911 backup center located at the Savannah Civic Center, to prepare the center should full operations need to be shifted to the backup center.

The fire system maintenance vendor was onsite after the incident and conducted a thorough investigation determining the malfunction as the cause of the incident. In June, the same vendor conducted an annual inspection, whereby this malfunction was not found.

Chatham County is electing to replace all fire control emergency switches for systems like the one in the Chatham County Annex. The County has the same systems in at least three of their buildings to protect data centers.

Chatham County appreciates the timely response to this incident to include but not limited to Facilities Maintenance, E911, Public Safety, Occupation Safety and Risk Management, CEMA, and all Team Chatham members involved in the incident. One person was transported to the hospital for a minor medical concern.

As of 2:30 p.m. on July 10, the E911 Center resumed normal operations. There was little to no impact on citizens of Chatham County as an investigation found that no E911 calls were missed.

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