The Bell System

by Colin Berkshire

The Bell System was an amazing organization. They were able to respond to disasters in emergencies in a highly coordinated way. This is an outstanding documentary. The main switching system in New York City caught fire and was a total loss. In 23 days the Bell System was able to gut out the old system out and install a new one. I don’t think we could respond to emergencies this quickly, today. For me this movie was very exciting to watch. I think it was very well done.

One more comment: you’ll notice throat the documentary that there are extremely top level Bell System executives intimately involved with the planning and direction of the response teams. I’m like today’s executives, the old Bell System executives were hands-on. Each of them had grown up through the system, and all of them had field experience.

I specially enjoyed seeing pictures of Bill Ellinghouse doing crisis management. He later became one of the greatest Chairmen’s of the board of the entire bill system.