System outage ambulance delayed callout

System outage ambulance delayed callout
System outage ambulance delayed callout

Fire and Emergency says it could not raise an ambulance directly on the morning of a fatal house fire in Auckland because its communication system was down.

Kiwa Ropitini-Fairburn and Tony Marsters, both aged in their mid-20s, died in the blaze, while a third man was seriously injured, on Freshney Pl in Hillpark, shortly before 7am yesterday.

Firefighters arrived at the two-storey home within minutes, but could not get in touch with ambulance staff through their usual InterCAD system.

RNZ understands this meant firefighters were unable to advise ambulance staff of any injuries.

A Fire and Emergency spokesperson said the outage meant a phone call had to be made to ambulance operations instead.

“While ambulance staff were on their way to the incident, firefighters were able to rescue two people from the house and administer CPR.”

Kiwa Ropitini-Fairburn, 25, and Tony Marsters, 24, died in the blaze (Source:

An ambulance and rapid response vehicle arrived shortly after, the spokesperson said.

A St John spoke declined to comment and said queries were best to be directed to Fire and Emergency.

The cause of yesterday’s fire was still under investigation by police and fire investigators.

A police spokesperson said an examination of the house was still taking place this afternoon.

The man who was injured remained in serious condition at Middlemore Hospital, the spokesperson said.

What is InterCAD?

The InterCAD system was used as a way for emergency services, including ambulance, police and the fire service to communicate.

It allowed information given by 111 callers to be shared immediately between the three services.

An event was created by the service who were called and dispatch information was sent to all three services at the same time.

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