MCP Insights

Be Wary of Using Commercial Broadband Networks for Public Safety Voice

Posted on January 8, 2021 by Scott Neal

More than ever, broadband communications networks are essential to the public safety and justice communities. Such networks easily transmit highly bandwidth-intensive files, e.g., video and building floor plans, that would choke a narrowband network. Such files enhance situational awareness for incident commanders and other officials—as well as emergency responders and jail/prison officers—by orders of magnitude, which in turn helps them do their jobs better.

But there’s a flip side to broadband communications networks of which the public safety community needs to take seriously. Such networks typically are owned and operated by commercial entities, and because of this public safety agencies that contract for broadband services typically do not receive the performance guarantees and—even more importantly—the visibility into these networks that they’re used to receiving from the networks that they own and operate, for example, their land mobile radio (LMR) systems.

Consequently, public safety agencies should proceed carefully when they consider whether to contract with any commercial entity for broadband services.

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Public Safety Needs a Better Way to Triage Emergency Calls

Posted on October 22, 2020 by Darrin Reilly

At MCP, our mission is to help clients improve emergency response outcomes.

Depending on the client and its unique environment and resources, this could mean providing guidance regarding technology, operations or governance, and often all three. The overarching goal is to ensure that 911 callers receive the most appropriate emergency response as quickly as possible. Lives often are on the line in an emergency, and every second matters.

Achieving a balance between sending the optimal response to an emergency and having it arrive as fast as possible is tricky. In fact, it is analogous to walking a tightrope. To achieve the former, many emergency communications centers (ECCs) rely on standard protocols developed for each type of emergency call that they receive, typically law enforcement, fire/rescue and emergency medical services.

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COVID-19 Has Brought Out Public Safety's Resolve, Ingenuity

Posted on June 4, 2020 by Darrin Reilly

Sometimes you don’t have a choice—an event occurs that is so cataclysmic that you are forced to do things you had no idea you were capable of doing, and certainly no desire to do them. Here’s a for instance. On December 6, 1941, the United States continued on its slow but steady recovery from the Great Depression, content in the cocoon of its isolationism. Things were getting better, fueled in part by the New Deal. And then Japan bombed Pearl Harbor the next day. In an instant, the U.S., its citizens, and their way of life were turned upside down—and a lot of things changed very quickly as a result.

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Podcast Series Tackles COVID-19-Generated Telecommunicator Stress

Posted on May 12, 2020 by Glenn Bischoff

Without question, the role of telecommunicator in an emergency communications center (ECC) is one of the most stressful jobs on the planet. Having to deal with distraught, even hysterical, callers who are having the worst day of their lives, and then making split-second decisions regarding the appropriate emergency response to dispatch—all while maintaining one’s composure—is no easy task. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic is adding to the stress considerably.

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Pandemic Underscores Importance of Public Safety Continuity-Of-Operations and Disaster-Recovery Plans

Posted on March 31, 2020 by Richard Gaston

COVID-19, aka the coronavirus, pandemic is grabbing a lot of attention right now, partly because we don’t see global pandemics in the United States very often, certainly not one of this gravity. But we do see other significant events on a fairly regular basis— e.g., wildfires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, hazardous materials spills, network outages—that can disrupt or halt public safety operations.

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