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

        Published Apr 12 2017, 2:26 PM by Josie Slaughter
        • EMS
        • Dispatch Software
        • NG9-1-1 Dispatch
        • 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

      • Cop by Day. Freedom Fighter by Night.

        Published Feb 02 2017, 9:11 PM by Josie Slaughter
        • Law Enforcement

        The International Labour Organization estimates that there are 20.9 million victims of human trafficking globally. More than half are women. A quarter are children. The victims of trafficking, exploited for sex or labor, are the most vulnerable and desperate among us. But it’s not only in far off countries where people are victimized. In 2015, it’s estimated 25,000 people were trafficked in the US*. Mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, neighbors and laborers—they can all be victims.

        Officer Lourdes Nieto, a thirteen-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, knows these statistics well. For her, these grim statistics are more than an unspeakable injustice. They’re a call to action. A single mom from one of Chicago’s toughest neighborhoods, Officer Nieto works tirelessly to raise awareness of human trafficking among citizens and the police. On her own time—on top of her daily responsibilities—she trains other officers to recognize the signs of trafficking. She conducts community information sessions to help people learn to spot and stop trafficking. And she spends time with survivors at a local safe house, cooking for them, talking with them, and helping them heal.

        For showing what it means to go above and beyond the call of duty, Officer Nieto was named an American Red Cross 2016 Law Enforcement Hero.

        Her compassion and dedication inspire others to keep innovating so first responders can be their best in the moments that matter.

        We’re forever grateful to the men and women who fulfill their duty when we need them most. Learn about them and help us honor them by telling their stories with the hashtag #DutyRunsDeep.


        Josie Slaughter is Senior Global Marketing 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

      • NG9-1-1: Call Taker Concerns and Solutions

        Published Dec 09 2016, 9:30 PM by Josie Slaughter
        • NG9-1-1 Dispatch


        April is 9-1-1 Education Month. Throughout the month this blog series will highlight different aspects of the emergency response process, including what happens when you text or call 9-1-1, and will pay tribute to the men and women behind the phones. This April, take some time to learn something new about America’s emergency response system.

        Being 9-1-1 month, April is the perfect time to talk about the changes going on in Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) and call centers around the country. Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) encompases a vast array of changes, but text to 9-1-1 is dominating the conversation. How does it work? Where is it being adopted? How can agencies bring it to their community easily and efficiently?

        Some call takers have concerns regarding this transition. For example, if a child goes missing in the middle of a sports game - during which call traffic is already higher than usual - call centers worry they will be deluged by calls and texts. The challenge becomes how to maintain focus while accelerating answer rates. Call takers need to be able to retrieve the child’s description, while managing the flood of calls. Fortunately this issue has not really come to fruition and early adopters of text to 9-1-1 have been underwhelmed by the volume of texts they received, even after significant external promotion of the availability of text to 9-1-1.

        Call_Taker_IL_0416_msv2.jpgWhile many of the concerns are valid, none should cause a PSAP to delay their acceptance of “calls” for help via SMS/text or multimedia. Many solutions are now available to help call takers handle calls with speed and accuracy while simplifying data input. This type of solution can make an impact by providing an exact description to call takers which responders can use to locate the missing child before panic turns into havoc. Fast, effective emergency response is what citizens deserve, regardless of the call volume or other challenges facing a 9-1-1 center. Having information in an integrated view streamlines management, and simplifies the transition.

        On April 20 Motorola Solutions and the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) had the honor of hearing from two agencies who are on the forefront of bringing this change to their communities. Karl Fasold, Director of Technology at Orleans Parish Communication District (OPCD) and Darryl Maggard, 9-1-1 Coordinator at Muskogee County, Oklahoma addressed some of the issues their agencies addressed when upgrading to an NG9-1-1 solution, and how an integrated workflow helped mitigate their teams’ concerns.

        Watch the webinar on-demand here and click the infographic to the right to learn more about NG9-1-1.

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

      • You Dialed 9-1-1…Now What?

        Published Dec 09 2016, 9:29 PM by Josie Slaughter
        • NG9-1-1 Dispatch

         April is 9-1-1 Education Month. Throughout the month this blog series will highlight different aspects of the emergency response process, including what happens when you text or call 9-1-1, and will pay tribute to the men and women behind the phones. This April, take some time to learn something new about America’s emergency response system.

        It is estimated that on average, individuals in the U.S. and Canada will call for emergency support at least twice during their lifetime. Panic, helplessness and fear can be minimized or eliminated by knowing when to call and what to expect when you dial 9-1-1. On the other side of the phone there is a team of highly trained professionals working hard and following a finely tuned process to get you the help you need.

        It’s like a relay race.
        Members of the 9-1-1 team take turns performing various actions at rapid speed to finish the race and solve your emergency. As soon as you dial 9-1-1 the race is on: the 9-1-1 call taker is the first runner - the first, first responder. A dispatcher acts as the second-in-line when they pass information on, and the first responders bring it home by coming to your aid. When the relay shotgun goes off and a call is placed to 9-1-1, the call taker understands that people facing a crisis need help as fast as possible, so they focus on four immediate things:

        1.) Where is help needed?
        2.) What happened?
        3.) When did it occur?
        4.) Who is involved?

        After the call taker receives all that information, they then pass it on to the dispatcher. The dispatcher's main goal is to use a computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system to locate the closest resources to the emergency and send them out quickly. Depending on the emergency, 1 to 100 trained personnel are set into motion. While responders are on their way, dispatchers stay on the line and ask more questions. This is to gather information as a situation develops as well as to to help keep the caller calm and assured. The questions asked will not delay the race or arrival of emergency personnel, but is a strategic effort to make them faster and better prepared to help upon arrival.

        Once there, the dispatcher passes the baton to the first responders. They focus on assessing the situation and taking immediate steps to resolve the issue—whether it’s a medical emergency, crime in progress, fire, domestic issue, or a natural calamity.

        What happens when you call 9-1-1 from a cell phone?
        It was once better to call 9-1-1 from a landline because dispatchers could confirm a caller’s location, but now cell phones use enhanced 9-1-1 technology that relays accurate GPS data to the dispatch center, making it just as efficient. If a mobile phone is not equipped with GPS, cell towers can triangulate a caller's location. Although with this technology dispatchers can see where someone is, the first question that will always be asked is where the emergency is located to confirm that’s where help is needed.

        What happens if you dial 9-1-1 accidentally?
        It happens all the time. A cell phone “pocket dials” 9-1-1, the kids accidentally call, or for any number of reasons a phone connects to 9-1-1. If you do call 9-1-1 by mistake, don’t hang up. The dispatcher will immediately dispatch police because they don’t know why you hung up. You may be in trouble and they need to ensure there is not an event in progress that has caused you to hang up. Dispatchers take prank 9-1-1 calls and hang ups very seriously, and can assess serious fines if they believe someone is abusing 9-1-1. They are always there when help is needed.

        Call takers at 9-1-1 centers are dedicated to being on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Although they hope you never heed help, they are there, ready at the starting line to get you the help you need.

        Learn more about the first, first responders.

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

      • It's Like Sharing the Answers to the Next Pop Quiz

        Published Dec 09 2016, 9:29 PM by Josie Slaughter

        Users arm each other with lessons, clues and insights at the Annual Smart Public Safety Solutions Users Conference

        Do you remember that student from school who would always ace surprises tests? They learned things easily, grasped material quickly, and always had the right answer on the tip of their tongue. I remember watching them from my desk, and wanting to ask them to clue me into their secret study habits. This happened a few times growing up, and it always made me wonder: ‘We have the same homework, the same teacher and the same books, but I don’t seem to get the same results as quickly.’ What could I being doing wrong or what do I need to improve on? I know many people who have felt that way about the technology solutions they’ve implemented. Others utilize these solutions with no issues, while some take a bit longer to grasp and adapt. Instead of accepting a challenge as a set back, the people I know do what I did - invest more time to solve the problem, learn more about the features and functions, and grow with the solution to meet their needs.

        Of those dedicated professionals, many of them were attendees at the Smart Public Safety Solutions Users Conference that took place this month in Henderson, Nevada.

        250 Users, 80 Training Sessions, 3 Days in One of America’s Safest Cities
        Users shared ideas to build, educate and train each other in preparation for that unexpected pop quiz in public safety - like the one that happens when a 9-1-1 call is made and it’s “go time”. During the three days, users received in-depth, hands-on training on command center and field operations, records and jail management, and citizen engagement solutions. They shared experiences with peers from across the Americas and heard trends and regulatory developments from industry experts including the FBI.

        In addition to learning how to better utilize applications that users have already deployed, attendees were able to get a sneak peek and provide valuable inputs into future smart public safety solution offerings. Many training topics for the user conference were recommended by our user committee and included professional development and operational impact sessions. Over 25% of the 80 training sessions were customer led or recommended.

        Implementing a new Smart Public Safety Solution such as a PremierOne™ CAD, records management, mobile CAD or a 3-1-1 system takes a lot of coordination and collaboration. There are so many factors that need to be synchronized to make a new deployment a success.

        As I spoke to one user about the conference, she told me one of the biggest values of the forum is the networking opportunities, specifically the sharing of ideas and experiences between users. She told me about the tours of the Henderson, NV Police Department, how she spoke with Douglas County, NE about their experience virtualizing their CAD application and Saginaw County, MI on the evolution of their dispatch center from cards to CAD.

        After talking with her and a few other users – I got it. I figured out how folks aced those pop quizzes so well - it’s a combination of knowledge and support. They have a strong support system that thrives on helping each other and sharing best practices, learning on to each other to grasp the lessons to better utilize the homework, teacher, and book.

        That’s what makes us committed to providing customers forums like the Smart Public Safety Solutions User Conference where users have access to field and development engineers, industry leaders and peers to make city and county mission critical communications systems the best they can be - to share those answers to pass the next pop quiz.

        Want to learn more about Motorola’s Smart Public Safety Solutions featured at the user conference? Check out:

        Want to hear from our users? Check out:

        Josie Slaughter is Senior Marketing Manager for Smart Public Safety Solutions for Motorola Solutions.

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