Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania

15 August 2015

Dominic Morgan, CEO, Ambulance Tasmania

Ambulance Tasmania

Equipment identified as being involved in a power outage at the Ambulance Tasmania communications centre in July and a further partial outage yesterday has been replaced.

Ambulance Tasmania chief executive officer Dominic Morgan said the second of two uninterruptible power supply frames and systems was installed this afternoon, following the installation of the first unit yesterday afternoon. 

Mr Morgan said the need for the replacements had been determined following the July 5 outage and subsequent discussions with the units' manufacturer.

"An engineering team of the manufacturer arrived in Hobart early today to install the second unit. At this stage, both units are functioning as required and the work occurred in accordance with documented plans and risk assessments conducted in advance.

"It was essential that these components were replaced to minimise ongoing power outage issues, which have the potential to impact Ambulance Tasmania's operations."

Mr Morgan said the manufacturer has advised that the new units are next generation models and they have had no issues with these units to date.

He said that last night, Ambulance Tasmania experienced a disruption to the Computer Aided Dispatch system software which caused a slowing of the application to a point that a decision was made to move to manual operations. 

"This did not affect telephone or radio systems.  Manual operations were used for one hour and twenty minutes. There were no reported adverse outcomes in the call taking or dispatch to any cases as a result of the manual operations.

Mr Morgan said initial advice was that the slowing was related to an offsite remote back up process impacting on server memory and CAD functionality returned when the back-up process ceased.

Ambulance Tasmania is proceeding with a version upgrade of the computer aided dispatch system in partnership with 3TC, which is due before the end of the year. 

In addition the State Government has committed $15 million to procure an emergency service CAD system for the use of all emergency services.  The project has commenced with the Department of Police and Emergency Management as the lead agency.

Mr Morgan said an end-to-end review of Ambulances Tasmania's electrical systems had been commissioned.

"The replacement of the two 400kg UPS frames is a major step forward in stability of the infrastructure, however systems would continue to be monitored closely.

"As work progresses on testing all aspects of the infrastructure and improvements to redundancy are identified, scheduled works will continue to occur which may require planned outages. Business continuity plans and contingencies are in place."

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