Sunday, Apr. 17, 2005 FAIRFAX, Va. – An expensive emergency dispatch system may be getting the boot in Fairfax County.
The Washington Post reports that Fairfax County paid more than $3 million for the Altaris system five years ago under a no bid contract. The system is supposed to allow police and fire dispatchers to relay details related to calls to small computer terminals in emergency vehicles. But officials say the system has crashed or been taken down for repairs so often that dispatchers frequently end up using radios to communicate. Fairfax County spends about $2.7 million a year to maintain the system. Members of the county’s board of supervisors want an investigation of the Altaris contract. Officials say the next system will be placed for competitive bidding.