Simplifying Workforce Management Complexity

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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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Some NYC Prison Guards Will Be Armed With Tasers

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Oct 12, 2016 2:58:03 PM

Some NYC prison guards will soon carry tasers, leading to questions about safety.


Prison guards have a variety of ways to protect themselves from violent inmates. For instance, at Rikers Island Jail in New York City, guards typically carry batons and pepper spray.

However, concerns about officer safety have led to a push for additional nonlethal armaments. This past summer, the correctional officers' union argued that their work was growing more dangerous. As a result, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced that 30 elite officers would be assigned Tasers to help them break up fights and other violent activity at the prison, reports The Atlantic's CityLab.

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Topics: Corrections, Training

Austin EMS Medics May Get Relief In New Schedules [Video]

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Oct 6, 2016 1:40:14 PM

Exhausted and overworked EMS medics are more likely to struggle on the job and leave their positions sooner than expected. In Austin, Texas, a new plan hopes to offer relief by transitioning workers from 48-hour shifts to a 42-hour week.

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Topics: EMS, Staffing

Shortage of Officers and Other Gaps Found In University Of Texas Security [Video]

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Sep 28, 2016 1:39:27 PM

This past spring, a student at the University of Texas at Austin was found dead near the campus Alumni Center. After the death was ruled a homicide, the campus public safety department took another look at its security policies.

This report suggested a number of safety improvements, including better lighting and video surveillance systems. It also found that there was a shortage of officers regularly patrolling the campus, and called for staffing additions.

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Topics: Campus Police, Staffing

San Jose Faces Police Staffing Emergency [Video]

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Sep 22, 2016 8:13:42 PM

The San Jose City Council has voted to declare a state of emergency over a serious police staffing shortage.

The city's police department has struggled with reassigning officers from investigations to patrol duty. As a result, calls have gone unanswered and many residents have complained of excessive delays.

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Topics: Police, Staffing

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.