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The city's 911 system crashed several times yesterday, forcing responders to resort to pen and paper, creating a backlog of about 200 calls at one point. At least one elderly woman had to wait an hour for an ambulance. The Fire Department says no calls were lost, but were not yet able to explain the crashes. The system has come under fire for repeated failures recently.
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It took an ambulance 31 minutes to respond after a Council intern fainted from heat stroke during a press conference with Christine Quinn. A Jewish volunteer ambulance brought the intern to the hospital before the FNDY ambulance arrived, despite it being a day of fasting. 911 relayed the multiple calls with no issues but was overloaded with nearly a third more calls than normal due to the heat. The incident was originally rated as a medium priority. Quinn, who called Commissioner Kelly for help and met with the FDNY commissioner later about the incident, said the city wasn't prepared for the heatwave and called for an increase in emergency vehicles.
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The U.S. Court of Appeals decided a Brooklyn judge’s ruling that the Fire Department intentionally discriminated against black and Latino applicants went too far, and ordered a new judge hear that portion of the suit again due to questions of his impartiality. But they left in place many of the judge's other orders, such as finding that previous tests were discriminating, mandating retroactive pay for those who were unfairly screened out, and the appointment of a monitor to track progress in hiring people of color. That monitor's time was shortened to 5 years from 10 years, however. And the city won't have to hire outside consultants to hold minority recruitment campaigns. The court altered or removed 29 of the judge's 69 prohibitions and remedial steps.
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