The Mission-Critical Resource Center

How to Navigate the Complexities of Mission-Critical Vendor Management

In Summary:

  • Today's average public safety agency has more than 30 vendor support agreements to manage.

  • Vendor support agreements have become more difficult to understand given their size and complexity.

  • Public safety organizations are looking for strategies to help navigate the complexities associated with today's increasingly complicated vendor environment.

It used to be much easier for public safety agencies to manage their vendors compared to a decade ago. At that time they were simple and easy to understand and they generally only involved the radio, computer-aided dispatch (CAD) and 911 call-handling system providers.

Read More

The Evolution of the Emergency Communications Ecosystem

In Summary:

  • Emergency communications centers are not much different from what they were when they first appeared on the scene a half century ago.

  • PSAPs need to jettison the legacy analog call-handling equipment that has existed for the last 50 years, and replace it with new equipment capable of processing calls and data that originates from digital devices.

  • The evolution of the emergency communications ecosystem will result in PSAPs and telecommunicators that will look and behave very differently than they do today. 

The public safety sector and emergency communications has reached an inflection point. Technology has evolved dramatically, and the needs and expectations of the public served by PSAPs have evolved as well. Data has overtaken voice in terms of importance. As a result, PSAPs need systems that are capable of leveraging the enormous amount of data is that already available, yet inaccessible today. Legacy call-handling equipment equipment that has existed for the last 50 years needs to be replaced with new equipment capable of processing calls and data originating from digital, Internet-Protocol (IP)-based devices.

Read More

Workforce Optimization: A Smarter Solution to Resolving 911's Staffing Struggle

In Summary:

  • Staffing struggles have plagued public safety communications for years, and the situation is worsening because of favorable economic conditions that bring an abundance of less-stressful, better paying jobs.

  • Workforce optimization is the concept of taking a more holistic approach to staffing that places equal emphasis on recruitment, hiring, training, and retention.

  • The profile of the ideal telecommunicator is evolving. The next generation telecommunicator will process different skills than they do today.

Several years ago, the National 911 Program released the Recommended Minimum Training Guidelines for the 911 Telecommunicator. The document was intended to ensure that a more consistent standard of care was provided by 911 call-takers and dispatchers to callers requesting emergency services, regardless of their location at the time of the call. A corollary benefit of the guidelines is that they might help reduce the amount of personnel churn that emergency communications centers (ECCs) experience.

Read More

Whitepaper: A Smarter Approach to Resolving the 911 Hiring Struggle

In Summary: 

  • Staffing and hiring struggles have plagued public safety agencies for years and the situation is worsening

  • High personnel churn and attrition rates contribute to the shortage

  • Workforce optimization is the right approach for 911 officials looking to resolving 911 staffing struggles instead of simply focusing on recruitment

Staffing 911 centers has become a huge concern in the public safety communications community. In this report, we explore the concept of workforce optimization, of which training is one of four key pillars, with recruitment, hiring and retention being the others. 

Read More

Topics: Consulting, Workforce Optimization, White Papers

Posted on January 1, 2019

Public Safety Should Look Hard at Mission-Critical Push-to-Talk

In Summary:

  • Push-to-talk over celluar (PTTOC) and mission-critical push-to-talk MCPTT services are provisioned over broadband wireless services and replicate the walkie-talkie functionality of traditional land mobile radio (LMR) portable radios.

  • Through gateways, these services can be interfaced with LMR networks to allow audio to be transmitted from LMR channels to the broadband application, and vice versa.

  • They offer a good alternative for personnel who have no need for a digital radio on a daily basis but need to be provided situational awareness and coordinated incident command.

This whitepaper examines push-to-talk over celluar and mission-critical push-to-talk technology, explaining why they may be a better choice than LMR in some cases, and how they provide significantly more flexibility regarding application, device and network choices. The biggest benefit of MCPTT service is that it replicates the PTT functionality of traditional LMR systems on devices that are smaller, lighter and much less expensive than portable radios traditionally carried by first responders. Also examined are important factors to consider when deciding whether to implement the technology.

Read More