The incident "shines a light" on the state's system failures, the man who sent the alert said, adding that he believes the federal government should handle such alerts. The supervisor played a simulated missile notice that mimicked an actual message from the US military's Pacific Command and warned worker of the fake threat. Reporter: A preliminary federal report says the employee who sent out the alert confused drills with real-life situations in the past which he adamantly denies, still he says he has learned a lot from this.
"I feel very badly for what's happened - the panic, the stress people felt, all the hurt and pain".
The agency fired him.
The erroneous alert sent to the cellphones of Hawaiians on January 13 resulted in panic across the state, including people abandoning their vehicles on the highway.
When we asked the state about it earlier this week, officials said they had used that phrase before, but will no longer use it in future exercises. "I felt sick afterward".
The man's superiors said they knew for years that he had problems performing his job. "That didn't happen. Someone lifted the reciever so the beginning of the message was not able to be heard", he said.
"I heard, 'This is not a drill.'".
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The incident occurred when a supervisor chose to give the arriving day-shift workers a spontaneous drill, according to a Federal Communications Commission report. Managers didn't require a second person to sign off on alerts before they were sent, and the agency lacked any preparation on how to correct a false warning.
The button pusher say he's been dealing with the fallout and calls it an utter hell - causing him problems with eating, sleeping and is now on medication.
Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Administrator Vern Miyagi resigned as the reports were released. Officials revealed that the employee who sent the alert was sacked on 26 January.
The agency's executive officer, Toby Clairmont, said Wednesday that he stepped down because it was clear action would be taken against agency leaders after the alert.
Testing of the alert system began in November and protocols were constantly changing, he said.
However, the former state worker said those two previous incidents were essentially "paperwork" issues, not errant alerts.
"The (state and the Federal Communications Commission) have false information in the reports", the man said. He said he was not trying to impede any investigations: "There really wasn't anything else to say".
The worker says when the supervisor sent out the message on a secure phone for the drill, someone was supposed to put it on speaker phone so everyone could hear it.