Automating Public Safety Workforce Management

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When local populations increase, so should public safety staffing [Video]

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Feb 24, 2017 9:31:33 AM

An influx of new residents to an area is a great sign that it's a vibrant and desirable place to live - but that can put a strain on the region's public safety agencies.

A greater population to protect means a greater need for increased police, fire and EMS presence, but sometimes the budget needed for increased staffing just isn't available. This situation recently reared its head in Phoenix, Arizona, with a 5 percent population increase met by a declining police force.

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Topics: Staffing

Long response times call for EMS volunteers [Video]

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Feb 20, 2017 10:49:51 AM

When it comes to emergency medical response times, every minute counts. In communities that are too large or understaffed to dispatch paramedics in acceptable times, volunteers can fill a vital role, stepping in when people need help.

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Topics: EMS, Volenteers

Certification for emergency dispatchers considered in Idaho

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Feb 13, 2017 4:44:32 PM

Dispatcher certifications would ensure personnel have the necessary skills.


In the high-speed world of emergency response, dispatchers keep communications channels open. The people who fill this role are indispensable to agencies, and the demands of the job are numerous and unique. It's therefore worth focusing on dispatchers and, in particular, whether the role should be subject to certification.

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Topics: Dispatch Centers

New technology promises to help first responders [Video]

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Feb 9, 2017 2:15:44 PM

When emergency personnel respond to a call, they need to grasp the situation at once to formulate a response. New software is helping them get the data they need in a hurry.

Departments around the country have taken on pre-plan programs that use touchscreen interfaces to give police, fire and EMS personnel information such as floor plans and notices about residents who may require special attention during a rescue. This data takes some of the guesswork out of emergency response, and shaves precious minutes off of response time.

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Topics: EMS, Police, Firefighters

Police vehicle training reaches new levels of realism [Video]

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Feb 6, 2017 2:52:47 PM

When it comes to skills such as making high-risk traffic stops or pursuing a suspect's vehicle in hazardous driving conditions, police officers need training to feel as close to the real thing as possible.

Training sessions that accurately reflect extreme conditions can help officers react effectively. To this end, agencies have a variety of options at their disposal, including driving practice in cars that simulate dangerous weather, as well as scenarios that combine driving and shoot-out elements.

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Topics: Law Enforcement, Police, Training

The complex process of finding ideal police officer candidates

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Feb 2, 2017 3:33:13 PM

A cadet system could get young people ready to join the force.


Hiring for a police department is unlike the process in any other field. The ideal officer will combine peak physical and mental toughness with great communication skills, a willingness to put oneself in danger and an ability to deescalate intense situations. The complex nature of the work means that extra effort given to recruiting, nurturing and retaining talent is well worth it. The pool of applicants with the skills to become great officers is limited, and departments have to hold onto their best people tenaciously.

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Topics: Law Enforcement, Police

Some police departments may be underestimating hiring needs

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Jan 30, 2017 1:44:38 PM

Departments are using different metrics to determine how many officers they should employ.


When it comes to putting together a police force, leaders have to balance a number of factors, each more challenging than the last. It's vital to have enough manpower to keep the community safe while giving each officer a reasonable workload, and extremely high standards are required when it comes to vetting candidates and training them to perform their many duties.

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Topics: Law Enforcement, Police, Staffing

Natural disaster preparedness affects all public safety [Video]

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Jan 25, 2017 12:16:32 PM

When a major natural disaster strikes, safeguarding the populace will take a combined efforts of first responders - from fire to law enforcement, from EMTs to the National Guard. The necessary resources must be prepared in advance, in case such catastrophes do come to pass.

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Topics: CAD, public safety

How fire chiefs can overcome staffing shortfalls

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Jan 23, 2017 1:35:31 PM

What happens when fire chiefs have to make do with too few personnel?


Public safety departments have to make do with the budgets they are allotted. When funds are short, it takes creative thinking and effective management to pull through. Fire chiefs around the country are facing this tough situation: How do they keep their communities safe when they don't have the resources to hire more staff members?

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Topics: Fire Chief, Firefighters

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

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.