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Resource ID: #26905
Subject:Emergency Medical Services
This series of investigative stories uncovered an overwhelmed 9-1-1 center staff during the deadly “Halloween Flood” of 2013 in Austin, Texas and triggered proposed changes to Austin's 9-1-1 system. Open records requests returned 9-1-1 calls and emails showing the impact earlier cost-cutting decisions had the morning of the flood. The records we uncovered show the City of Austin was underprepared to respond to this overnight emergency and any others of its scale. The series morphed into an examination of the City of Austin's 9-1-1 center and how years of neglect led to a controversial and unreported plan to save overtime. After the City of Austin released its final flood report and KXAN questioned the small number of recommendations, police leaders announced a 9-1-1 system audit. After KXAN reported a leaked draft, police amended a budget list of critical needs requesting 36 new 9-1-1 positions.