Emergency Call Handling

Solutions for Public Safety Answering Points in the Digital Era

Would Your Emergency Command Center be Equipped to Handle a Similar Situation?

On a hot, summer day, a 14-year old boy was walking home from a sports practice when he suddenly collapsed. He was suffering from a severe heat stroke.

With his last ounce of strength, the boy made a desperate phone call to 9-1-1. The dispatcher responding to the call followed protocol, but she did not receive responses to her questions. A muffled noise coming from the background made her think that this wasn’t a misdial, so she didn’t hesitate to act: she used new 911 technology to pinpoint the boy’s location based on his latitude and longitude. A few seconds later, she had a good estimate on where the boy could have been, and an ambulance was on the way.

The boy was found at the location the dispatcher suspected and taken to hospital on time, where he was treated and released.
(Source: CBS Local, 2016)

The happy conclusion to this incident shows that competent operators with adequate training and intelligent tools can mean the difference between life and death —even on an ordinary day.

Would your emergency command center be equipped to handle a similar situation? Read on to learn more about:

  • What common challenges public safety agencies face in the digital era
  • How modern technology can help enhance mission-critical operations
  • Why data provided by citizens poses threats and opportunities
  • How modern software can enhance efficiency, compliance, quality management, and employee engagement in emergency response centers while reducing costs
Little boy in stretcher going into ambulance

Public Safety Answering Points in the Digital Era

The expansion of the Internet has reshaped communication. According to Domo, the Internet reaches 56.1 percent of the world’s population, and American users alone consume 4,416,720 GB of Internet data every single minute (!) of the day.
(Source: Domo, 2019)

But what does this mean for public safety agencies?
Heightened citizen expectations: In an age when tracking down the location of your pizza delivery is child’s play, it’s hard to accept the fact that defining the exact location of an incident in an emergency is not so simple. It’s no surprise that the demands of the digitally savvy citizens of the 21st century are strongly shaped by the always-on digital culture. Add budgetary restrictions to the picture, and the result is the complex challenge public safety agencies are facing today.

Increased volume and diversity of data: For public safety answering points (PSAPs), the growth in user-generated data and the development of new communication modes can be a challenge and an opportunity at the same time. Enabling PSAPs to receive text and multimedia in addition to voice calls, and then to capture these interactions, securely archive them, and be able to retrieve all recordings on demand, requires crucial changes within the command center.
However, if public safety agencies can successfully address these challenges, they can benefit from having a greater amount of more accurate information on hand, which can transform emergency response and incident reconstruction.

New forms of threats are on the rise: Digital innovations have put new tools in the hands of citizens and the emergency services— but also criminals. Hacking, identity theft, phishing, and online scams are just a few examples of the resultant cybercrimes that are on the rise – and the list is growing. And as recent events have shown, PSAPs must also be able to react promptly to unprecedented situations, such as unanticipated epidemics, natural disasters or terror threats.

Man in a fire truck

Unlocking the benefits of data

When addressing these new challenges, leaders of public safety agencies can easily find themselves in the middle of a jungle of new tools and technologies. This can be equally scary and overwhelming; however, technological advances should simplify operations instead of complicating them.

Read on to find out how you can simplify, modernize and automate your mission-critical operations by:

  • Capturing, archiving and retrieving multichannel interactions with a single tool.
  • Leveraging trunked radio integrations, such as Motorola® ASTRO® and Harris® OpenSky® and P25IP.
  • Enhancing NG9-1-1/NENA I3-ready incident reconstruction.
  • Reducing administrative overhead and automating repetitive quality assurance processes.
  • Increasing employee satisfaction through recognition, adequate scheduling, applicable training and enhanced operations planning.
  • Harnessing new technologies while protecting your existing investments.
Woman pointing at data on her computer screen

Capturing Interactions: Adopt a Full-Time Multichannel Recording and Archiving Solution

Today’s emergency response centers serve the public against a backdrop of complex events, increasing citizen and regulatory expectations, and evolving technologies. With the expansion of digital communication modes, public safety agencies need to record, archive, and retrieve interactions across multiple channels, often in a diverse format. This can be a serious IT challenge, especially when there are limited resources.

But, what if you could capture all types of interactions on a single recorder?

State-of-the art recording tools specifically designed for public safety operations can help you simplify multichannel recording by capturing voice, radio, video, and text communications across multiple channels (including PBX, VoIP, radio systems, chat, digital collaboration, email, mobile voice, SMS, and face-to-face), all on a single recorder.

Besides capturing public safety communications from various media types, they can capture the corresponding activities taking place at call-takers’ desktops. Having a deep insight into keystrokes, data entry, screen navigation, and after-call wrap-up can be helpful for quality assurance and process development purposes. This solution can also enable you to monitor process adherence even when some of your employees, for example your IT, QA, GIS and clerical staff, work from home.

Cop in car looking at computer on dashboard

Archiving and Retrieving Multichannel Recordings

In the event of an audit or incident reconstruction, having the recordings is not enough: You have to be able to locate and safely retrieve the information you need.

Through integration with 911 switches or radio controllers, solutions today can provide real-time control over recording and call indexing. Besides, unified omnichannel interaction players can present recorded information – including analytics – across all channels in a single place for easy visualization and further analysis.

Through integration with 911 switches or radio controllers, solutions today can provide real-time control over recording and call indexing. Besides, unified omnichannel interaction players can present recorded information – including analytics – across all channels in a single place for easy visualization and further analysis.

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Man with headset on looking at computer

Protecting Your Existing Investments: Leverage State-of-the-Art Recording Solutions with Trunked Radio Integrations

The lack of reliable interoperability between existing and new tools often slows down or even restricts the adoption of agile, modern technologies in emergency response centers. As a result, public safety agencies often encounter challenges that can easily be solved in an enterprise or customer contact center environment.

But, why would you struggle when a solution is at hand?

Through integration with 911 switches or radio controllers, trunked radio recording solutions can now provide real-time control over recording and call indexing. Whether you are using Motorola ASTRO R7.x 25 trunked radio system, P25IP or Harris OpenSky infrastructures, your radio transmissions can be recorded, stored, managed, and retrieved reliably.

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Two firefighters in fire truck

Enhancing Incident Reconstruction: Maintain Industry Standards

Growing citizen and regulatory demands –along with evolving expectations for record-keeping, monitoring, supervision, and evidence handling– have put PSAPs under pressure. To cope with these heightened requirements, it is crucial to retain and store recorded data in a consolidated and easily retrievable format.

During an investigation or incident reconstruction, your agency might be required to scan through a huge amount of data searching for a specific piece of information within a short timeframe. Although public safety-specific recording and incident reconstruction tools are available today, the collection and sharing of potential evidence is still surprisingly manual.

You can enhance your incident reconstruction activities by automating the collection, analysis, and sharing of data, while providing your employees with a user-friendly interface for accessing data quickly and replaying multichannel recordings simultaneously on a single screen.

Woman cop looking at a computer screen

Benefit from NG9-1-1/i3-Ready Incident Reconstruction

Besides the ability to replay data captured on various channels – including audio, video, text, photos, screen data, telematics, telephone numbers, and location data – you can also enable your employees to organize this myriad of information in a logical way.

Some tools allow you to flag and mark data with colors and notes that can be adjusted to fit the needs of your organization, saving valuable seconds during an investigation. You can also create repositories for collecting all pieces of information tied to a specific incident or event.

For instance, you can organize all COVID-related interactions in a separate repository, making reporting to the authorities quicker and easier. When the data is shared, you can redact sensitive pieces of audio without affecting the original recordings. This can enable your agency to maintain compliance with federal, state, and local laws, while quickly and easily fulfilling requests for information.

Read the Report
Woman cop using Verint technology for data

Help Your Workforce Achieve More: Enhancing Emergency Preparedness through Your Most Valuable Assets

When lives are at stake, you must act in a heartbeat.
All emergency callers expect a prompt response, but many emergency response centers struggle with budgetary constraints, workload, staff retention and training, and effective quality management.

Today’s workforce management tools can enable you to address these challenges effectively. They can provide you with a single view into all employees—including their skills, proficiencies, rank, and availability to handle workload—so you can quickly align your workforce with your workload and achieve faster response times. They can even enable your workforce to easily manage and actively impact their own schedules.

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Emergency medic coworkers shaking hands

Technology Improves Emergency Response Effectiveness

Some solutions can also enable you to capture employee desktop activity, configure email alerts and screen pop-ups to notify users of deviations from protocols, analyze captured data, and automate time-consuming quality assurance activities.

By leveraging this information, you can enhance call-taker training, make better decisions, increase productivity, and accelerate response times.

State-of-the-art solutions can also help you quickly respond to ever-changing workloads. Today’s workforce management tools can provide a holistic oversight of the availability, skills, proficiencies, work rules and personal requests of all employees.

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Two ambulance workers bringing stretcher into hospital

Harnessing New Technologies while Protecting Existing Investments

Ready to start your public safety transformation?

Many agencies stick to their outdated legacy systems in part because of the value of data stored within them. This data is quite often not indexed properly, so searching for a specific piece of information in the database can be time-consuming, complicated and nerve-wracking.

However, today there are well-tested methods of extracting legacy data and securely storing it in a data warehouse or in the cloud in a catalogued format. Designed for emergency response, public safety, and control room operations, elements of the Verint portfolio for public safety offer superior reliability, availability, and scalability in mission-critical environments. Deployed on premises or in the cloud, Verint can bring interactions and associated digital data captured across multiple devices, channels, and sites together seamlessly in a single solution for rapid response, analysis, investigation, and reporting.

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Close up of a first responser in a firetruck

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