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With the advent of either elective or mandatory certification of Telecommunicators (e.g. call takers and dispatchers), there is a definite need to be aware that to ensure a successful ongoing plan for this impact on E9-1-1 centers (PSAPs), rules should be adopted that institute quality assurance requisites for both the program itself as well as for the certified personnel. Without continued bench measures the program is but a shell of the desired intent of the operational need.
Public Perception and the 9-1-1 Dispatcher
The first of a two-part series on Accreditation and Quality Assurance, Cory Friend, Accreditation Coordinator at PowerPhone, Inc., discusses the Accreditation process, including the agency self-evaluation. The components of a successful Accreditation process and the benefits to be derived will be explored. The second article will detail the importance of Quality Assurance to the Accreditation process and the steps necessary to implement an effective QA program.
The second of a two-part series on Accreditation and Quality Assurance, Cory Friend, Accreditation Coordinator at PowerPhone, Inc., discusses the importance of Quality Assurance to the Accreditation process and the steps necessary to implement an effective QA program. Friend's first article detailed the Accreditation process, including the agency self-evaluation, the components of a successful Accreditation process and the benefits to be derived.
Historically, Public Safety Answering Points were equipped with communications recording systems for protection from liability due to legal evaluation of emergencies. This function was facilitated by time stamps, protection from tampering and assurance of fail-safe operation.
Want to Improve the Quality and Performance of Your Communications Center? The development of Next Generation 9-1-1 and soon-to-be introduced Quality Assurance (QA) -standards are raising the bar for the quality of service required from emergency communications centers. Download your complimentary handbook, authored by analyst Dick Bucci from Pelorus Associates, from VPI
Recently, I had the opportunity to assist an international security company with the task of developing an EMS system in Central America. While this company had experience in law enforcement deployment, they had not yet put together an EMS system so they sought advice from others to help design one for a location where EMS was virtually non-existent (with the exception of limited providers for private payers).
Public safety communications centers that record calls for compliance shouldn't overlook the usefulness of those recordings in evaluating dispatcher performance. That's a lesson learned from the call center industry, where recording and evaluation is widespread.
Airplanes have black boxes. Sports, the instant replay. And dispatchers have the call logger. Each of these is invaluable when analyzing an incident. However, they don't tell the whole story. This is especially true of loggers in the dispatch center. This installment of "From the Chair" discusses the pitfalls of using a single-channel recording when investigating the handling of a call.
The New Jersey Star-Ledger reported that a New Jersey state appeals court has ruled that 9-1-1 operators and dispatchers are not immune from being sued for failing to perform their duties.
NENA-The 9-1-1 Association announced it has received accreditation as a standards-setting authority by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which serves as the voice of the U.S. standards and conformity assessment system... "This accreditation certifies and validates our rigorous development process. We look forward to our standards gaining wider recognition and implementation. The end result will be a public made safer through their use," said National President Barbara Jaeger...
Up until now, QA focused on telephony calls as this has been the primary form of 9-1-1 communication between PSAPs and the public. All this though will soon change with NG9-1-1. PSAPs will also be required to handle text, video, images, and potentially other forms and types of data originating from various security sensors.
Public safety emergency communications have never been on the threshold of greater change than they are today. PSAPs, both large and small, are now preparing for Next Generation 9-1-1 to keep up with the rapidly evolving world of mobile, multimedia and IP communications. This ground-breaking resource guide discusses what you need to look for in a new recording and quality assurance system to meet the challenges arising from Next Generation 9-1-1.
With National Public Safety Telecommunications Week being celebrated each April, it's worth taking a look at the job we've been doing.
Protocols have become an integral part of modern day, emergency dispatch operations. Protocols reduce variance, ensure a continuity of care, reduce liability, standardize response decisions, and provide a basis for performance measurement and quality improvement efforts. It's no wonder that protocol use has become a rapidly growing standard in a discipline that has, historically, been fraught with inconsistencies in call receipt, processing, interrogation, instruction, and dispatch.
In the modern workplace employees have a desire to know why they are being required to do things and often resent the "old school" just-do-as-I-say approach to management. Policies and procedures need to be explained to and understood by everyone. Often times, if the reasons are clear and the consequences of their actions, and not for their actions are emphasized and understood the resulting compliance will be greater.
Although needed and necessary, Quality Assurance (QA) programs can create chaos in your Comm Center if not presented and managed in a way that acknowledges some realities... But you cannot force people to put their defenses down when they are feeling unsafe. You can work to help them feel safe. Here are five thoughts on a positive pro-active approach to QA programs at 9-1-1.
All the quality assurance data in the world is virtually meaningless if it is not followed up with a strong quality improvement initiative. Gathering the information and generating reports are just part of the process.
The state of quality control within our industry truly requires a case-by-case study. Some states have standards; others do not. Some agencies train; others do not. You get the point. Realistically then, quality must begin at home. But what do we mean by quality? What do we measure and how often do we measure it? And, more importantly, what do we do with the results?
Today's public safety agencies are being pushed to run like a business--all while under increasing pressure to take on more responsibility with constrained resources and budgets. Efficiency and speed are key operations objectives in today's public safety answering points (PSAPs).
The use of automated speech recognition technology in business is nothing new. We see it all the time in the customer service industry - with voice-directed call routing, voice verification, identification of unhappy customers and so on. Albeit an advancement with tremendous value, we have not yet seen it used in the emergency services industry. You may be asking why. Perhaps it is due to the complex implementation processes often seen when trying to use this technology.
In a profession as critical - and criticized - as our contemporary 9-1-1 occupation, adherence to policies and procedures becomes extremely important. This is especially true for agencies that provide some measure of post-dispatch and/or pre-arrival instructions to callers, directing the caller to actively do something to stabilize a patient or begin to mitigate an emergency before the arrival of the dispatched first responders. Evaluating performance and compliance with protocols and...
Quality Improvement (QI) is a relatively new concept in emergency communications. Called by many names, including Total Quality Management or Control, Quality Assurance, and Statistical Quality Control, among others, QI has existed in the modern era since post WWII Japan when quality experts like Dr. W. Edwards Deming and Joseph M. Juran helped to re-industrialize the war-torn country.
Recording systems for public safety agencies may be viewed from two different perspectives: their performance during an event and their performance after one. During an emergency, the protection of lives and property eclipses all other needs. Recording systems must meet special demands, improve performance, and make a tough job easier for police, firefighters, air-traffic controllers, and other public safety officials. After an event, a precise analysis can be equally crucial because it...
Verint Systems Introduces Forecasting and Scheduling Capabilities to Its Impact 360 for Public Safety Solution
Verint Systems Inc. has announced the availability of new forecasting and scheduling functionality to its Impact 360 for Public Safety Powered by Audiolog solution. The workforce optimization software is designed for today's public safety answering points (PSAPs), command and control, and emergency communications centers.