Around Town: Technical error results in an emergency notification that the fire will disappear | news


Fire engines at a house on Bryant Street where a large fire burned in the back of the Palo Alto apartment building on September 15, 2021. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Around Town’s latest column has answers on why a September 14th fire emergency report disappeared in a Larry Page home and a community contest in support of the Great California Shakeout.

TECHNICAL ERROR … When a two-alarm fire broke out in a house in Palo Alto on September 14th Google Co-founder Larry side, Residents were alerted by around 8 p.m. Pulse point, a well-known emergency notification app. But the notification disappeared at 8.45 p.m. despite the raging fire.

The deletion aroused the suspicion among some residents that Page would receive preferential treatment due to data protection. However, the reason for the mysterious distance turns out to be less bleak – at least according to city officials. It was more of a technical error.

PulsePoint collects incident information from the police’s computerized dispatch system, which forwards real-time information to fire departments and law enforcement agencies. When a dispatcher receives a call, the agent enters a code describing the nature of the incident. PulsePoint’s software picks up the code and sends information about the incident, said Shannon Smith, Vice President of Communications at PulsePoint.

Deputy fire chief Kevin McNally further explains in an email: “Unfortunately, PulsePoint did not have all of our call types integrated into its system. When the call started as a structural fire it showed up because this code was in its system. When it was updated to a FULL FIRST (more Resources) the call was abandoned, “he wrote, referring to the disappearance of the app entry. “Our technical services department is working with PulsePoint to resolve the issue,” he said.

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