How an On-Line UPS is Crucial

What would happen if your friend had a sudden heart attack and you called 911, but the call center’s problems delayed the ambulance’s arrival? Maybe your friend wouldn’t survive. This blog is about making a difference in lives and how a reliable on-line UPS makes that difference in critical applications, like a 911 call center.

A recent Feb. 9th Los Angeles Times article describes how this happened in 1987 to a woman, Ziporah Lam. Family members made three calls to 911 before dispatch responded; she later died in the hospital. Since then L.A.’s 911 system has been reformed, but the article points out many current problems that are being addressed. The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) is going to overhaul the call center procedures and Mayor Eric Garcetti is looking for a new fire chief who can replace “an outdated, crash-prone computer system at the heart of the LAFD’s dispatch center.”

The call center’s computer/communication system is critical. The type of UPS used to protect that system is just as critical. Falcon’s on-line UPS protects 911 centers, like Gem County Idaho’s 911 call centerthat relies on Falcon’s FN Series UPS to be up and running 24/7. You can read more about Gem County 911 in the case study. Falcon’s on-line UPSs also protects DNA analysis machines used in sheriff’s departments across the U.S. and water treatment plants, like El Paso Water Utilities.

Tight Budgets Sacrifice on Initial Cost, Pay More Later

The issue is that many cities, and companies, have tight budgets, so purchasing agencies may choose a UPS that has an initial lower cost, like a line-interactive or Smart UPS, but is not designed for more complex equipment, like a 911 communications/computer center. They are designed for simple computer backup with some line conditioning. And what happens if the line-interactive UPS doesn’t protect the equipment when it’s needed? Only an on-line UPS, with a reliable field-history, is specifically engineered for vital applications.
For example, El Paso Water Utilities faced this situation and needed to properly protect its water supply by selecting an on-line UPS for its Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometer (GC/MS) instruments. They had a power outage and told Falcon “the instruments plugged into the “Smart-UPS” failed the test run” and that the only equipment “completely unaffected by the power event was the one plugged into the Falcon.”

To read more, click here for press release.  Read Part 2 “The Difference in UPS Designs“.