Mission Critical Partners surveyed some our subject-matter experts to hear their predictions regarding what will public safety trends will shape the next decade and the public safety industry outlook. Today's public safety landscape is evolving more quickly than ever before. To help illustrate what's coming, as well as where we believe the industry is headed this year, we put together an infographic fueled by statistics on what's substantially impacting the industry, as well as where we believe its headed. See why the experts believe that actionable data, cloud-based technology deployments and new approaches to workforce management will be priorities.
In public safety, staffing has become the proverbial “thing under the bed,” the one operational aspect that keeps PSAP leaders up at night. While personnel churn has always been a challenge in the industry, today it is exacerbated by a healthy economy, with many telecommunicators leaving for less stressful, better-paying jobs, and a shrinking candidate pool.
There is a lot of change happening in 911 centers today, particularly as it relates to staffing and preparing for the modern public safety communications capabilities that come with text-to-911, Next Generation 911 (NG911) systems, and the availability of enhanced data. This quick read discusses the ten factors that every PSAP needs to consider when it comes to preparing for this transformation.
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.
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.
These are challenging times for public safety answering points (PSAPs). Many are dealing with funding shortfalls, others are wondering where they will find the money to implement Next Generation 911 (NG911) technology. Given this, it should come as no surprise that the PSAP operated by the Fort Myers Police Department in Florida has been dealing with a significant staffing shortage of its own. The PSAP operated by the police department in Fort Myers handles more than 200,000 emergency calls annually. Low employee morale and a high staff turnover rate were impacting the PSAP’s performance significantly and compounding existing 911 staffing issues. Other challenges they face included:
There are several significant, disruptive technology and operations trends that Mission Critical Partners feels will set the stage for the future of public safety over the next three to five years. Public safety agencies must understand these trends, begin preparing for them now, and understand how to adjust their operations in order to adapt. They are trends that cannot afford to ignored.