News, The Daily Feed

DC Fire/EMS/Police Communications Down For Five Hours

Photo courtesy of
‘red white and blue’
courtesy of ‘willmeyer’

An electrical problem at the city’s Office of Unified Communications brought DC’s primary radio system for emergency responders to a halt on Monday night around 7:15pm. According to NBC4, system went down for about five hours, causing DC Fire/EMS and MPD to default back to their backup radios.

DC operates a trunked radio system for emergency responders, meaning that there is one master control facility for all the radio communications for the city. There are several transmission facilities, but it’s all routed through the computers near the big antenna cluster by McMillan Reservoir. The whole system went down due to a power problem, forcing responders to their backup radios. While there was confusion for a short while, the city’s policies for maintaining backup radio channels with Arlington and Montgomery County on the 800Mhz band allowed for an easy switch back to working communications centers. DC Fire/EMS set up a temporary command center at 6th and F St NW to coordinate extra assistance during the five hour outage.

Downtown, History, Interviews, Special Events, We Love Arts

We Love Arts: “Breaking News”

Courtesy of the Folger Shakespeare Library

A true and exact relation of the late prodigious earthquake & eruption of Mount Ætna. London, 1669

The Folger Shakespeare Library recently opened their newest exhibit Breaking News: Renaissance Journalism and the Birth of the Newspaper on September 25. The exhibit runs through January 31, 2009 and is free to the public. I recently had a delightful Q&A session with Jason Peacey, one of the exhibit’s curators and a Lecturer in History at University College London, and Amy Arden at the Folger here in DC.

Give us an idea what a visitor to the Folger’s latest exhibit should expect.

Breaking News follows the story of the newspaper from England to America. Visitors will see many things that they recognize, from the kinds of topics covered – politics, natural disasters, extreme religious sects, crime – to the actual format of newspapers from this period with headlines, columns, and serialized issues. One thing that may surprise people is how much of a role wartime reporting played in launching the newspaper; during the 1640s civil war raged in England between the supporters of the king (known as Royalists) and the supporters of Oliver Cromwell and Parliament (the Parliamentarians). Both sides produced their own accounts of the conflict and printed newspapers in an attempt to sway public opinion in their favor. It was a ripe time to be a journalist!

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