Springfield first responders using radio for dispatch while computer system down

City says Clark County system has been down for days and is ‘causing significant interruptions’

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Springfield city officials said the computer-aided 9-1-1 dispatch system emergency responders use to communicate with the county combined dispatch center has been down for several days and is “causing significant interruptions in service.”

The computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system is expected to be down for several days while the county works on getting it back online, according to the city.

According to Clark County officials, last week, Motorola, the vendor, pushed an update out that caused an outage of the “virtual environment” the city uses to communicate with the Clark County Communications Center, not the CAD system.

“We need full cooperation from the software vendor to get things on our end reconfigured according to settings that were changed. The county has also executed an emergency contract with a consultant to help get the environment back up and running as soon as possible,” the county said in a statement.

All Residents of the City of Springfield, Please be advised that the Mobile Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) system...

Posted by City of Springfield, Ohio - Government on Friday, June 7, 2024

The county has “worked tirelessly” through the weekend to correct issues, and the environment is now being tested “by select personnel” through the county. County dispatch is operating and typical response times can be expected.

A more than $1 million contract provided to the News-Sun and signed by city and county officials established the joint 911 dispatch center and provided technology including radios, headsets and 911 phones. The contract is effective from Jan. 1, 2021, to Dec. 31, 2030.

Springfield Mayor Rob Rue said the Motorola updates caused the system to go down, and dispatchers have been working hard to ensure responders are dispatched to every call in a timely manner.

“The city is concerned that the county administration — not the political leaders — is not understanding the urgency of this for the city,” Rue said.

In April, Rue said the city would withhold payments to Clark County for systems used as part of the combined 911 emergency dispatch until fire and police are given access to more functionalities it said it was promised. He also cited system crashes and a lack of access to case management functions. The next bill for the contract is due in July.

In response to the city’s statement regarding the Clark County Communications Center: Earlier this week, a planned...

Posted by Clark County, Ohio on Friday, June 7, 2024

Last month, the city said conversations about these issues were moving in a positive direction and a user advisory group, established by county commissioner Melanie Flax Wilt, began regular meetings. Flax Wilt said then positive changes came from the city side, too.

Rue said the user advisory group is continuing to meet. He said the most important thing is the system gets back up and running to allow responders to safely communicate and receive necessary information before a response.

“911 calls are being answered, and they’re being sent out; they’re just not being sent out as efficiently as they could be or they’re supposed to be with the CAD,” Rue said Monday.

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