Public Safety Workforce Blogs

Fatigue policies can prevent firefighter sleep deprivation [Video]

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Oct 18, 2017 11:15:33 AM

The potential link between 48/96 shift schedules and sleep deprivation can pose unique risks for firefighters. The danger of sleep deprivation tends to be compounded by a high volume of calls. When a firefighter cannot get adequate sleep on the second day of a shift, cognitive performance can suffer, putting lives in danger.

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Topics: Scheduling

'Floating' firefighters could patch scheduling holes [Video]

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Mar 14, 2017 2:53:37 PM

When fire departments are faced with more demand than they can handle, the answer may lie in creating new positions that cover high-need shifts as required. These "floaters" can help response times and cut down on the need for mutual aid calls.

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Topics: Scheduling

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: Scheduling

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: Scheduling

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: Scheduling

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: Scheduling

Boston EMS Sees Higher Call Volumes [Video]

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Aug 5, 2016 4:17:54 PM

When EMS agencies can't meet their staffing and funding needs, lives are at stake. In Boston, the city government responded to a surge of emergency calls by proposing more funding for emergency medical personnel. But officials still aren't sure why call volumes are increasing, or if demand will ever level off.

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Topics: Scheduling

Report: DFW Airport Lacks Adequate Police Staffing Levels [Video]

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Jul 7, 2016 3:36:48 PM

As the threat of global terrorism grows, security experts believe that a strong police presence is necessary to deter attacks, especially in areas where large numbers of people gather. But some potential targets may not be getting the protection they need.

For instance, staffing levels at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport are insufficient, according to an internal police report. The airport, which is among the world's largest and serves more than 60 million passengers each year, has fewer officers patrolling its terminals than other major U.S. airports.

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Topics: Scheduling

Should Police Staffing Be Based on Population, or Workload? [Video]

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Jun 2, 2016 10:03:18 AM

How should cities determine minimum police staffing levels? In San Francisco, some city supervisors think it should be based on population. Others want to see it based on the police department's workload demand.

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Topics: Scheduling

Keeping Public Transit Lines Safe [Video]

Posted by Jackie Belasky

May 24, 2016 3:15:20 PM

It can be a challenge for major cities to keep their public transit lines safe, especially with limited resources.

In Washington, D.C., a series of high-profile assaults and shootings on the subway have led the D.C. Metro Transit Police to boost patrols throughout the system. But personnel numbers are tight right now, and even officers who have been confined to desk jobs due to injuries will be asked to monitor stations.

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Topics: Scheduling