Simplifying Workforce Management Complexity

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Retiring Firefighters vs. New Recruits – Finding the Balance [Video]

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Jan 17, 2017 1:38:38 PM

In Columbus, Ohio, a spate of retirements has pushed the department to increase hiring. But new recruits might not be ready soon enough.

The city has approved the hiring of 25 additional recruits to fill newly opened positions after already adding 40 new firefighters this year. However, some firefighters have stated that there will be more open spots by the time these new recruits are trained and certified.

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Topics: Firefighters

Specialized schools seek to create firefighter candidate pipeline

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Dec 28, 2016 1:37:00 PM

Programs for high school students are helping chiefs hire young, diverse fire departments.


The specialized skills necessary to become a firefighter don't materialize overnight. Departments need to find ways to ensure their incoming recruits have those unique abilities. While on-the-job training is a necessary way to teach skills and keep them sharp, it's useful to have structures in place that can prepare candidates before they ever join a fire department.

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Topics: Training, Firefighters

Emergency services can combine staffing authority [Video]

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Dec 20, 2016 11:32:39 AM

Fire and police departments are exploring new staffing strategies today to ensure they field the right personnel to keep their communities safe - while working within budget constraints. This can even mean combining hiring authority departments that were previously separate.

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Topics: Staffing

Holidays present scheduling challenges for public safety personnel

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Dec 6, 2016 12:59:23 PM

Keeping emergency services fully staffed on holidays is a special challenge.


Whether you're operating a fire or police department, or another type of public safety agency, scheduling shifts for your team means dealing with challenges like managing regulatory compliance policies while minimizing overtime. The complexity is only compounded at the holidays - how can you balance a desire to give personnel time off with the demands of keeping the required number of staff members on call at any time?

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Topics: Scheduling, Vacation Bidding

Personalized, specialized training coming to fire departments

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Dec 1, 2016 3:53:02 PM

Firefighter training methods are diversifying.


Provided they have the administrative and IT frameworks in place to track them, fire departments can employ training methods that go beyond the ordinary to get their firefighters to a high level of expertise and readiness, and keep them there over time. In a field where such preparedness can literally help save lives, leaders are encouraged to explore new ideas and modernize their HR processes wherever possible.

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Topics: Training, Firefighters

Public safety officers at risk of sleep deprivation

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Nov 28, 2016 1:08:11 PM

When emergency responders are fatigued, danger increases.


It's important for employees to get enough sleep, no matter their role. When the job in question is on the front lines of emergencies, the need grows even greater. There are many ways to strike back against lack of sleep and fatigue, including intelligent scheduling practices and increased hiring. Officials will need to keep these best practices in mind to ensure their public safety departments are always at peak readiness.

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Topics: Public Safety Technology, public safety

New efforts could attract much-needed corrections officers [Video]

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Nov 16, 2016 9:46:26 AM

Everywhere around the country, officials must ensure there are enough officers on staff at correctional facilities, and make certain they are all properly trained to keep themselves and inmates safe. When hiring becomes a challenge, it's time to step up hiring efforts.

The Alabama prison system is currently facing a lack of staffing, and the Department of Corrections plans to make a renewed push for recruits by increasing benefits and ensuring there are opportunities for advancement.

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Topics: Corrections

Paramedic shortages prompt need for hiring, training

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Nov 10, 2016 10:29:57 AM

A shortage of qualified paramedics is being felt by agencies nationwide.


When disaster strikes, communities count on having enough paramedics on call to respond. When there's a shortage of personnel for this vital role, it's time to take action immediately to fill the vacancies. Unfortunately, multiple towns and cities across the country have reported a need to find more paramedics in recent months. Each department will have to take a unique approach to getting back to full strength.

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Topics: EMS, Training

Simulated firefighting scenarios teach valuable skills [Video]

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Nov 1, 2016 2:49:41 PM

It's important for firefighters to have highly specific situational training and be in a state of readiness for any situation that may occur. Periodic joint training exercises can keep their skills sharp.

Illinois firefighters recently provided a great example of this technique in action, gathering at the University of Illinois to train together in simulated environments. The demonstrations included examples of fires in houses, basements, garages and other types of structures.  

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Topics: Fire

Opioid Exposure - The Latest First Responder Health Hazard [Video]

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Oct 26, 2016 12:24:45 PM

Communities across the country are dealing with the troubling rise in opioid addiction, resulting in higher numbers of drug overdoses. For example, officials in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, recently found that drug overdoses in the first seven months of 2016 have already surpassed those reported for the entirety of 2015.

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About Orion Communications

As workforce management and data interface experts, Orion Communications is a leading provider of public safety workforce management software.  Orion’s AgencyWeb® software helps agencies simplify complex workforce management processes and reduce labor cost. Orion has been serving the public safety industry since 1998 and is a certified women-owned business headquartered in Dallas, Texas.

For more information, please contact Jackie Belasky at 214-361-1203, #2413 or jbelasky@orioncom.com.