Public Safety Workforce Blogs

Leadership Essentials for a Resilient Public Safety Workforce

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Jun 1, 2021 10:35:52 AM

First-line supervisors in public safety understand how critical it is to build strong relationships with their teams. Public safety employees rely heavily on each other and their supervisors to ensure they make it home safely at the end of their shift.

Whether you work for a fire department, law enforcement, or EMS, relationships are built on trust and strong leadership. With an operational workforce management system in place, more time can be spent fostering these relationships while optimizing employee productivity. Less time can be spent on staffing, budgets, recruiting, human resources management, and operational analytics.

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Topics: Workforce Management, Staffing

Budgeting Challenges? Leverage the Value of Your Workforce Data.

Posted by Jackie Belasky

May 13, 2021 3:00:44 PM

Across the country, public safety agencies are rolling up their sleeves, sharpening their pencils, and prioritizing essential public services amid the uncertainty of their budgets. Budget cuts are being proposed across the board, sometimes as high as 50%. That is not the norm, but any cut to an agency's budget hits hard. Leaders must be creative when working on their fiscal budgets, and many have found that leveraging their data helps make strategic decisions.

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Topics: Public Safety Technology, Data-Driven Information, Analytics

The Deadly Effects of Sleep Deprivation for Public Safety Agencies

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Feb 18, 2021 4:09:18 PM

About half of protective service and military workers report not getting enough sleep, representing a higher rate of sleep deprivation than any other occupation. This statistic is especially concerning given the vital role this workforce plays in protecting public safety and health. It’s understandable that public safety workers would struggle to get enough sleep.  Working 12-hour and rotational shifts that are combined with the unpredictability of being on call can disrupt the body’s natural circadian rhythm. Assignments can involve shift hold-overs, traumatic encounters, and high levels of stress.

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Topics: Police and Fire, Officer Safety

5 Tips for Public Safety Recruitment and Retention

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Feb 18, 2021 2:38:05 PM

Ask any administrator for a list of their top 5 concerns, and it is sure to include the recruitment and retention of their workforce. It does not matter what facet of public safety you work in or where you are. Whether you are the warden at a large prison or chief at a local fire department, staffing is always a concern. Finding and keeping qualified employees is something that keeps agency leaders up at night.

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Topics: Law Enforcement, Staffing

Virtual Courts ... 2021 Predictions and Beyond

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Feb 4, 2021 7:20:58 PM

The pandemic of 2020 will be remembered for generations, not only due to the loss of life but also because of the changes it forced society to make. Wearing masks, social distancing, and teleworking have changed almost every aspect of American life—including the court system. Although the long-term goal is to return to normal, the reality is that some aspects of virtual depositions and court applications may continue well past 2021.

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Topics: Courts

Mobile Apps and the Future of First Response

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Dec 22, 2020 10:54:25 AM

First response is a profession built on tradition. As such, members have shown a reluctance to accept changes in how they perform their duties – including new technology. But that is slowly changing. Before long, the use of mobile apps or similar advances will be as second nature as patrol cars, self-contained breathing apparatuses and portable radios. Most of today's first responders cannot remember, but the industry was slow to adapt each of those advances -- all of which have helped to shape it.

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Topics: Mobile Technology, Public Safety Technology

Beyond 2020 and Its Effect on 2021 Law Enforcement

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Nov 18, 2020 5:23:16 PM

 

Like many aspects of life in 2020, the structure of law enforcement is undergoing fundamental shifts. Falling revenues have cut deeply into agency budgets and public protests have increased tension and created uncertainty. At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic has placed additional stress on police and sheriff’s department budgets and resources. What a year! As we are on the threshold of welcoming in 2021, let’s look at the types of changes law enforcement can expect as a result.

 

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Topics: Law Enforcement

Public Safety Budget Planning After an Unpredictable Year

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Oct 7, 2020 5:27:04 PM

 

If 2020 has taught us one thing, it’s that the future is unpredictable. Public safety agencies have always operated amid uncertainty. COVID-19, however, is placing an unprecedented strain on resources, both by necessitating additional expenditures and interrupting revenue streams. This creates an unprecedented challenge as organizations try to anticipate their needs and plan for the coming year.

Now is the time for agencies to monitor where their budgets have been so they can better plan where they'll be going. Using technology, such as data-driven analytics that provide actionable insights, can be incredibly valuable. Whether the data revolves around the cost for personnel, equipment or responding to COVID-19 calls, looking backward can provide justifications when looking forward. As we're approaching 2021, let's take a look at some of the strategies public safety agencies are using to plan for next year's budgets. 

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Topics: Budget, public safety, Staffing, COVID-19

6 Steps Fire/EMS Can Take with Fewer Volunteers During COVID-19

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Sep 24, 2020 10:55:11 AM

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on first responders. Not only has it created a new normal that’s changed the way fire and EMS agencies operate, but it’s also left agencies short on volunteers as people take time off to quarantine or recover from illness. Many past volunteers are now unavailable: some are caring for sick family members; some are minimizing exposure to protect their health or that of loved ones who are at higher risk; and some have full-time jobs that currently prohibit them from doing volunteer work in order to minimize the exposure of other staff members. In the face of the volunteer shortage, what can agencies do to ensure they continue meeting public safety needs? 

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Topics: Workforce Management, EMS, Firefighters, COVID-19

Evolving Technology for Public Safety’s Unprecedented Scheduling Needs

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Sep 2, 2020 6:14:40 PM

In a year of on-the-job dangers posed by a viral pandemic and civil unrest, public safety agencies nationwide are going through massive change. With officers, firefighters and EMS personnel working in extremely volatile situations, many agencies have the added stress of staffing shortages. Some vacancies are caused by the fatigue of managing civil acts of violence. Others are due to employees testing positive for or being exposed to COVID-19.

The inability to back fill vacancies with qualified personnel and equipment is not an option. Scheduling and managing a workforce with these concerns in mind is tough using Excel spreadsheets. Many agencies have adjusted their practices and are relying on technology to effectively manage the safety of their personnel.

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Topics: Workforce Management, Scheduling, EMS, Firefighters, Analytics, COVID-19