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Update on Text 111 Service

January 28, 2015

The New Zealand Text 111 Emergency Services system had an outage and stopped working for 14 hours on January 14, 2015.

Representatives from Deaf Aotearoa New Zealand, Hearing Association National and The National Foundation for the Deaf met with Inspector Mal Schwartfeger and Superintendent Steve Kehoe from the New Zealand Police who told us that the Police were most unhappy with the outage.

They advised that IBM holds the contract to provide the Emergency Services Text 111 Server which they have sub-contracted to a third party. It is becoming apparent there were maintenance issues which presented as the Text 111 server and its back up server were incompatible due to a mismatch between the servers. IBM is now working to address this issue.

The Police are considering a number of options to ensure that, in the most unlikely event of a server and server back-up failure ever occurring again, they will have a work-around solution. This could be a text or email message to let the 1500 people registered on the Text 111 service know they need to use their alternative emergency notification process and to not use the Text 111 service at that time.

This shows the importance of establishing our alternative emergency notification process.

A good way to know if your Text 111 message has got through to the Emergency Services is you will almost immediately receive a message back. If you have not received a text message back within a short space of time please use your alternative emergency notification process

We will continue to meet with the Police to ensure good communications.