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        Published 4 days ago by Gary Bell
        • EMS
        • Fire
        • Law Enforcement






        April is 9-1-1 Education Month. Throughout the month this blog series will highlight many aspects of the emergency response and pay tribute to the men and women behind the call for help.  

        Within the deaf community, the process to get emergency help can be cumbersome.  It often requires the hearing-disabled person to use an older analog TDD system or contact a 711 relay center which then translates text and voice between a deaf individual and the 9-1-1 operator.

        Technology has evolved over the years whereas TTY devices have commonly become less essential for day to day interactions for the hearing or speech disabled. Many now use mobile apps, instant messaging, E-mail, video chat or text messages as a form of communications with close family, friends and other associates.

        The latest technology, Text to 9-1-1, can be a life and time saving tool for about 15% of the population(1), those suffering from a hearing loss. The person in need simply uses a familiar cell phone text process to send a message directly to the 9-1-1 center. No need to go through a relay center or use antiquated analog TDD technology.  

        Empowering citizens in uncomfortable situations to contact our 9-1-1 center in the most convenient way possible is Waukesha County’s goal.  What we want to teach our citizens is “CALL IF YOU CAN, TEXT IF YOU CAN’T “.   A voice call is still the best choice since the dialog between the dispatcher and citizen is valuable, but text is a viable alternative and critical for those who are unable to speak.  

        Not only can Text to 9-1-1 help the hearing and speech disabled community, but it is also a critical tool for those in difficult situations where a voice call might put them in harm’s way, for example a home invasion or domestic abuse.  

        Whereas the Text to 9-1-1 can be a life saving addition to any 9-1-1- system, there are some limitations. Carriers do not provide location information with a text, so it is imperative the user sends location information along with the call for help. And just like regular text messages, they can take longer to receive and may be received out of order or not at all.    

        Only about 700 of the over 5800 PSAPS in the US have text to 9-1-1 capabilities. This technology is a critical addition to any NG9-1-1 system, not as a standalone system but as an integrated, public safety grade process with other voice handling operations. Answering the call from the hearing and speech disabled community is a critical benefit of adding Text-to 9-1-1.

        Gary Bell, ENP,  Director of the Waukesha County Department of Emergency Preparedness.


        Waukesha County, Wisconsin recently went live (March 2017) with a public safety grade text to 9-1-1 solution utilizing Motorola Solutions Emergency CallWorks 9-1-1 system. Our system can now receive voice calls and text messages. Currently Waukesha, along with the rest of the state of Wisconsin does not receive MMS messaging to include: group text, pictures or videos but through an ESINet implementation, plans to address this in the future. 

        For more information on Waukesha County Text to 9-1-1 capabilities check out the following news articles:

        “We want to make sure our citizens are safe:” New text-to-911 service unveiled in Waukesha Co.

        Text-to-911 now available in Waukesha County

        Waukesha County Emergency Services Debuts Text-To-911

        Reference 1:


        Published 6 days ago by Robert Buethe
        • EMS
        • Services
        • System Management
        • Fire
        • Law Enforcement

        If you’re operating a mission-critical network with hundreds to thousands of APX radios, you already know that device management is an arduous undertaking. With all the maintenance, programming and changes you make, it still doesn’t guarantee you’ll maximize performance. How can you ensure your devices operate effectively and that every critical call gets through?

        If you don’t have the time and resources to adequately support your mission-critical devices, you should seek experienced resources that can help. You can now enlist device management experts at Motorola Solutions who can expedite programming, ensure correct connectivity, help you take advantage of all the applications available to you, and provide the right hardware and software support needed.

        Top Three Reasons To Seek Expert Device Management Services:

        1. You need an intelligent hardware and software maintenance plan. This includes full reporting and analysis of your radio performance to know precisely which radios need to be maintained. With better prioritization, you could save significant time and money with more accurate support rather than conducting routine mass updates.
        2. You will experience expedited programming and configuration changes. With enhanced radio technology comes more complexity in programming. Deploying new radios—without disrupting your service—is always a challenge. Your daily routine tasks to add and remove subscribers, or to adjust talk groups is time consuming. Additionally, if you don’t assess the device and network interdependencies, your radio communications may be negatively impacted. By transferring this responsibility to a team dedicated to your radios, you can free up your resources to keep focus on your core mission.
        3. You can take full advantage of all radio capabilities. If you’re using APX radios, no one knows your radios better than us. Freeing you from the time and hassle in programming and showing you how to improve the use of your radios can be a game changer for your organization. 

        If minimizing downtime, increasing operational readiness and lowering your costs related to managing your two-way radio fleet sounds appealing, discover how we can help you today with APX Services.

        We also held a webinar on Improving Device Management that expands further on how you can take action to improve your land mobile radio performance.

        Robert D. Buethe is MSSSI Global Vice President for Managed and Support Services.


        Published 17 days ago by Robert Buethe
        • Services
        • System Management
        • NG9-1-1 Dispatch
        • Fire
        • Law Enforcement
        • EMS
        • National Government Security

        Though built for resiliency, land mobile radio (LMR) systems are not exempt from faults. And, with weather getting more unpredictable and extreme throughout the U.S., critical network events can multiply during catastrophes. Mission-critical operations require having a disaster management plan to ensure network uptime.  

        Plan for the unpredictable. Most cities, states and countries have emergency management plans. Become familiar with the plans outlined for varying degrees of emergencies and how your network operations team should function in these situations. Your plans should include specific procedures for redundancies, provisioning, onsite support, power supply failures, spare parts management and much more. Catastrophes happen with and without notice. Having a set plan, and more importantly, conducting periodic drills based on that plan, makes you better prepared for either situation.

        Assess your overall system management. Outages can put public safety at risk.  Do you have all the necessary skills required to plan, operate and optimize your system performance? Leveraging a strategy that augments your operations with the right mission-critical expertise can help you maximize your technology investment, improve resiliency and ensure proper redundancies exist for the best coverage and connectivity in any situation.

        Preparing for network issues as they arise is imperative to public safety ground operations during catastrophes. Read more about how our managed services team ensures communication among first responders in South Carolina during the 1000-year flood in our Mission-Critical Disaster Management Use Case.

        Robert D. Buethe is MSSSI Global Vice President for Managed and Support Services.

      • 9-1-1 Education Month: How Much Do You Know About 9-1-1?

        Published 18 days ago by Paul Cizek
        • EMS
        • Fire
        • Law Enforcement

        April is 9-1-1 Education Month. Throughout the month this blog series will highlight many aspects of the emergency response and pay tribute to the men and women behind the call for help.  

        It is estimated that on average, individuals in the U.S. and Canada will call for emergency support at least twice during their lifetime. On the other side of the phone is a team of highly trained professionals working hard and following a finely tuned process to get you the help you need.This April, take some time to learn something new about America’s emergency response system.

        To start off, let’s test your knowledge on how much you already know about 9-1-1.  

        But don’t let the knowledge stop at end of this quiz! Join our Smart Public Safety Webinar on April 19th to learn more about how 9-1-1 call takers focus on capturing citizen information to initiate a faster response.

        To continue learning about 9-1-1,listen to how Nashville Emergency Communications Center enhanced safety for citizens and tourist through smart dispatch integration. 

        *Statistics in this blog are sourced from Random Facts and Interesting Trivia for the Curious Mind

        Paul Cizek is Director of NG9-1-1 Operations at Motorola Solutions.

      • Thank You 9-1-1: The Hidden Heroes of Public Safety

        Published 11 days ago by Josie Slaughter
        • EMS
        • Fire
        • Law Enforcement

        April is 9-1-1 Education Month. Throughout the month this blog series will highlight many aspects of the emergency response and pay tribute to the men and women behind the call for help.  

        I heard about the tornadoes on the news - it looked frightening, and the aftermath was devastating to say the least. As days passed, I was grateful to learn lives were not lost in the disaster. But I wanted to learn more, so I reached out to the Director of Operations at Orleans Parish Communications District, not knowing what to expect. In response, I was told the story of the resilient people behind the scenes. I wanted others to understand them, to hear them, to meet the faces behind the call for help.

        I had wanted to learn more - and learn more I did when I met the telecommunicators who took on New Orleans' biggest tornado this February. As the story of their determination started to unfold, it became clear that these heros were unseen, but irreplaceable nonetheless. These are the hidden heros of 9-1-1. And this is their story:

        New Orleans is a city that expects hurricanes, not tornados. But on February 8, 2017, New Orleans was hit by the strongest tornado the city ever recorded. Wind speeds topped 150 mph and nearly 700 homes were damaged in five parishes. Many surprised New Orleanians found themselves looking down the barrel of a monster. First responders from across the city—Police, Firefighters, and EMTs—mobilized to rescue people trapped in the storm’s path or from the collapsed buildings left in its wake. 

        But they weren’t the first first responders to take action that day. Behind the scenes, a group of 9-1-1 call takers and dispatchers were working together under enormous pressure to field the flood of calls spurred by the natural disaster. Their composure kept panicked citizens calm. Their expertise drew out the information police, firefighters, and EMTs needed to locate and rescue the storm’s victims. And their compassion helped thousands of people get through some of the most terrifying moments of their lives.

        These hidden heroes rose to the occasion on a day few thought they would ever see. But this is just one shining example of what 9-1-1 dispatchers and call takers do every day around the country, to keep both citizens and responders in the field safe. Their dedication inspires us to keep innovating so every responder can be their best in the moments that matter.

        We’re forever grateful to the telecommunicators who are behind the scenes of public safety but are always there. Thank you.

        Help us honor them during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week by telling their stories with the hashtag #DutyRunsDeep.










        Josie Slaughter is Senior Global Marketing Manager at Motorola Solutions

      • Comfort For Their Sorrow: Serving The Survivors Of Fallen Firefighters

        Published Dec 09 2016, 9:30 PM by Ronald Siarnicki
        • Fire

        Albert “Foxie” was a member of the Blauvelt Volunteer Fire Company for 31 years, working his way through the ranks to Chief. On his 11th wedding anniversary, he led his wife Cathy and their two young sons out of a fire to safety. He went back to save another son but neither made it out and died in the line of duty on October 26‚ 1996.

        When Cathy, the wife of “Foxie” found herself grieving and wondering where to turn, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) was there to support her and her sons. Now Cathy and her sons are able to give back to others who walk a similar path.

        It was stories like these that the United States Congress created the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation to lead a nationwide effort in honoring the memories of all U.S. firefighters who died in the line of duty and to provide support to their loved ones.

        As part of this mission, each October the Foundation hosts - the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend as a tribute to all firefighters who died in the line of duty during the previous year. The survivors of those being honored meet others who have walked the path a little longer and understand their grief in a way many may not. Through weekend activities, they find reassurance that their loved ones will not be forgotten and they have a place to find comfort and compassion.

        Beyond the Memorial Weekend, the NFFF helps families with similar experiences and interests find each other through the Survivors Network. Recognizing that children need and deserve special attention, the NFFF introduced the Hal Bruno Camp For Children of Fallen Fighters in partnership with Comfort Zone Camp. This free weekend bereavement camp allows children to share their stories, learn skills to manage their loss and provides time to reflect and remember their parent in a positive, fun and nurturing environment.

        “Everyone grieves differently and in their own way, but ultimately, our feelings are universal,” one camper explained. “The Hal Bruno Camp can help you. You don’t have to share your story, but if you do, it is healing in a way that these people at the camp ‘get it’.”

        Over the years, the Foundation realized that the best way to honor the fallen and support their families is to work with all branches of the fire service to reduce line-of-duty deaths and injuries. And so the NFFF’s mission has expanded.

        In 2004, the first Firefighter Life Safety Summit was held in Tampa, Florida to address a need to reduce the number of preventable line-of-duty deaths. More than 200 fire service and industry leaders worked together to develop the 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives.

        Out of those initiatives, the NFFF created the Everyone Goes Home® program, which provides free resources, materials and training opportunities to our nation’s firefighters that underscore the importance of accepting responsibility for one’s health and safety.

        In addition, the Foundation has provided funding for research that examines coronary heart disease, stroke and diabetes prevention. The NFFF also regularly sponsors meetings and summits to address evolving needs of the fire service community, such as cancer prevention and behavioral health issues.

        When a tragedy strikes in the community – day or night – firefighters respond without hesitation to protect and save the lives of others. Duty Runs Deep.

        When tragedy strikes in the fire service – and a firefighter dies in the line of duty – it is our mission to respond- to bring comfort and hope in the midst of sorrow and pain.

        Help us honor those who have fallen and share your stories using the hashtag #dutyrunsdeep and the Motorola Solutions Foundation will donate $1 to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.


        Chief Ronald J. Siarnicki is the Executive Director of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.


        Watch the video of this years memorial event


        Learn more at