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      • ASTRO’s 25th Anniversary Year in Review And Predictions For the Future

        Published Dec 20 2016, 6:07 PM by Geoff Hobar
        • Law Enforcement

        Fire.jpgWow!  2016, what a year! For 25 years, ASTRO has continually evolved to meet the changing needs of its users. Today’s ASTRO 25 is an all-IP platform with COTS hardware running highly secure and reliable software. For the past year, this 25th anniversary blog series highlighted some of the features requested by our customers, told by the insiders who helped make them a reality.

        In our January blog, we predicted LTE and broadband would continue to have an influence on the industry. FirstNet, now on the verge of becoming a reality in the U.S., has changed the conversation of public safety communications. The need for interoperability between Land Mobile Radio and mobile broadband has become clear. We also predicted the continued growth of services throughout the year, and ASTRO 25 has met that with the introduction of the simplified services packages which include the new converged MyView portal.

        Emphasizing how much our world has changed, the early 2016 blogs talked about interoperability and data, topics that were not top of mind 25 years ago. We discussed how to keep your system operating at peak performance and then moved into exciting new features that are now part of our 25th-anniversary software release.

        Looking toward 2017, we expect to see data taking a larger role, particularly in public safety and ASTRO 25 will continue to evolve. FirstNet will provide more access to data which will then drive change for first responders as well as dispatch. We will see more software-enabled features which will allow ASTRO 25 to respond more rapidly to the changing market. We expect to see the continued growth of services as solutions become defined by outcome more than simply by the delivery of features.

        I want to end 2016 with a big thank you to the MTUG (Motorola Trunked User Group) organization for their continued feedback. User feedback provides valuable input and helps set the direction of ASTRO 25. This has always been a big help to us in making sure that ASTRO 25 continues to be an effective mission-critical platform.

        Happy 25th birthday ASTRO 25, and many more!

        Learn more about ASTRO 25 at

        Geoff Hobar is ASTRO Business Operations Manager at Motorola Solutions. 

      • 4 Ways to Maximize Time During the Busy PSAP Season

        Published Dec 09 2016, 11:09 PM by Josie Slaughter
        • Dispatch Software

        We are all busy people. We understand the need to make every minute count. A quick search of Google turns up advice on how to maximize the minute to: train for a triathlon, make the most of a vacation, teach in a classroom, improve brain power, start an exercise program, enjoy the holidays and so on.
        Holiday Tips to Maximize Time
        Based on Forbes, some suggestions for maximizing time during the holidays:

        -Break down goals into steps

        -Know when to say no

        -Be present

        -Don’t worry about other commitments

        -Above all enjoy nurturing social times

        Agencies need to Maximize the Minute, Too
        When responding to a cry for help from the citizens there are several ways to make the most of every minute.



        1. Capture citizen inputs efficiently
        2. Dispatch the right resources to the right places
        3. Access information in the field for effective response
        4. Wrap up an incident and record relevant information

        Capture citizen inputs efficiently

        Agencies need to start by capturing citizen information more efficiently. Today 70% of citizens are using cellular phones to make calls to 9-1-11.

        With over 240 million calls to 9-1-1 every year, this means about 170 million calls are coming in from cell phones or smart devices. As citizens use cell phones as their primary communication device, they also believe they should be able to text to 9-1-1

        Dispatch the right resources to the right places

        Information is no longer just a verbal message. It now involves identifying the closest available resources, receiving inputs from 9-1-1 finding relevant historical data based on an incident location and sharing that information quickly to the field.

        Access information in the field for effective response

        Most first responders have computers in their vehicles to receive information from the dispatch center quicker however to maximize response applications need to extend beyond the vehicle. Applications are a mainstay to doing their job right, says 67% of respondents to a 2016 Policeone survey. When an officer leaves the vehicle, information needs to follow as well.

        Wrap up an incident and record relevant information

        Once a perpetrator is caught, the responding officer has multiple processes to complete before actually booking an offender. This can be a laborious task, often requiring the officer to spend hours in the station house but with an automate the booking process- the workflow can be condensed.

        Making every second count, requires a software platform that is designed specifically for public safety with a seamless flow of information at every step along the incident response work stream. From the moment a call comes into 9-1-1, agencies need tools that quickly go to work sharing information in less than five keystrokes with dispatch where the right resources are identified, plotted on a map and quickly dispatched to the scene of an incident. This seamless flow of information between call taking and dispatch can save critical seconds when time is most critical.

        New PremierOne software updates are now available to help maximize the four stages of incident management and workflow efficiencies.


        Josie Slaughter is the Senior Global Marketing Manager, Smart Public Safety Solutions for Motorola Solutions