Tucson fire department takes over 911 system

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- City leaders Wednesday made a move they hope will solve reported problems with Tucson's new 911 system, handing over operational responsibility of the emergency dispatch center to the fire department.

It's the story that wont go away.

"I look forward to working with everybody to solve the issues and move forward," said Chief Jim Critchley from the Tucson Fire Department.

The formal announcement came Wednesday at the 911 headquarters on the south side.

The Tucson Fire Department is taking over management of the city's emergency response system.

City Manager Mike Letcher said this action had been talked about for a month.  Tucson fire found out just 2 days ago.

"That would be Monday afternoon at a 3:30 meeting," said Critchley.

Despite the late notification, Tucson fire believes it is a positive move for the sake of public confidence.

"I absolutely think its going to improve that confidence or bring back that confidence if it was lost," said Critchley.

And one question on many minds during Wednesday's press conference was why would the city hand over operations to the fire department when the problems with the 911 system have yet to be fixed.

"Good question," said Critchley

The fire department plans to triage the situation as soon as possible in an effort to restore the public's confidence in it's 911 system.

"We really believed it needed to be under the fire department and I'm okay with that transition," said Critchley.  "I believe the fire department is a positive change for that."