The most out of touch man on the planet again shoves both feet in his mouth. Has there ever been a moment when he didn’t, just out of guilt, admit the failure of something under his command? Really, is anyone going to necessarily fault him if things didn’t run seamlessly during he chaotic hours when Sandy whacked the New York area?
Mayor Bloomberg yesterday insisted that the city’s 911 system “functioned perfectly” during Hurricane Sandy — despite evidence of unanswered calls, clueless operators and deaths of people who couldn’t get help in time.
“The technology functioned perfectly,” Bloom-berg bizarrely said yesterday during a question-and-answer session. “Are you ever going to have enough operators to take all the calls when all of a sudden, everybody’s calling? No, of course not.
“We spent $1 billion to make sure we had the right technology.”
How’d that work out?
The 911 system is supposed to be able to handle 50,000 calls per hour, according to official claims, and there were about 20,000 calls per hour when Sandy hit on Oct. 29.
Hizzoner even accused people of clogging the lines with non-emergency calls — as their houses filled with water.
“If you call 911 and it’s not an emergency you’re taking away from that operator the ability to answer someone else’s need, which may, in fact, be life threatening,” he said.
“The technology we put together so we direct the emergency needs to the right places worked perfectly.”
One Midland Beach, Staten Island, resident — who was scolded by a 911 operator for not evacuating even as floodwaters approached his neck — might disagree with the mayor’s assessment.
“You need to look for a raft or something to get floating because if the water’s already up to your chest and it’s a one-story house, where are you going to go?,” the operator said, records show.
“Well, I was hoping you might help with that,” the distressed man replied.
Moments later, he told the operator he heard yelling outside.
“Yeah, OK. Yell back. Let them know that you’re there. Bye-bye,” the operator said, then hung up.
Of course if there was better preparation so many wouldn’t have been caught in desperate situations, but again this was an unprecedented event for most of these folks in low-lying areas. Still, three weeks later things are just getting back to normal, especially for Bloomberg. He’s as smug and condescending as ever.