New communications problem at Urgences-Santé

A new problem emerged Tuesday morning with Urgences-Santé's computer network, leading to some delays in responding to emergencies.

The outage was reported just after 9 a.m. Tuesday, and was sorted out an hour and a half later.

There was a similar outage over the weekend, which lasted for 20 hours — basically, most of the day on Sunday. During that time, dispatchers couldn't locate their ambulances on a GPS system, and basically, they had to relay the information from 9-1-1 callers by radio, which slowed down response times.

There were no serious incidents stemming from the weekend outage, but a union spokesperson told Radio-Canada that this is the third such outage they've experienced in the last two years, and they're expressing concern for the health of the automated dispatch system.

Meanwhile, the ambulance network tweeted on Tuesday morning that it is receiving a higher-than-normal volume of calls, and are advising people to call 9-1-1 for emergencies only. It's also suggesting that people can call 8-1-1 — the Info-Santé hotline — for non-urgent medical advice.