Seconds matter to Emergency Communications Centers (ECCs), where answering 911 calls quickly can save a life. Ninety-five percent of all 911 calls should be answered within 20 seconds or less. Other ECC call-taking standards are regularly updated to reflect best practices when it comes to information gathering, answering priority, transferring calls, and more. All of these elements contribute to the timeliness of emergency response.
Emergency response time requirements are more than simply meeting standards; they entail obligations to keep surrounding communities safe. It’s critical to evaluate each part of the emergency response process to ensure it runs as efficiently as possible to produce the best outcomes.
While advancements in technology have transformed the world as we know it, some emergency response systems remain outdated due to factors like cost and the reluctance to transition to a new system. Oftentimes, emergency call takers can only rely on the limited context of quick phone calls, which can significantly delay response time. Providing emergency personnel with as much relevant information as possible allows for quicker and better decisions to be made, which positively impact the community.
Learn more about the four areas that ECCs can analyze in order to improve response times.
4 Areas of Improvement for Better ECC Response Times
Data drives all aspects of efficient emergency call responses in an ECC; therefore, the data received from an emergency response platform must be accurate. Inaccurate data can slow response time and hinder how emergency personnel respond to a scene, even resulting in the loss of life. If your mapping system is outdated or the information comes from limited sources, it can be difficult for emergency responders to even reach the scene. ECCs should employ location software that pulls from many data points to ensure the validity of the information received. Real-time information from DOT, weather, and traffic cameras provide emergency personnel with the knowledge they need to make informed response decisions the first time and reduce the time to respond.
A cloud-based location intelligence solution can integrate live feeds from traffic cameras and other critical data around the location of the incident so responders can avoid congested areas or other traffic problems like road closures. Does your ECC use location software that provides real-time visibility and insights so your team has total situational awareness?
Mapping systems equip ECC administrators and employees with access to an extensive map library that can be tailored to the call center’s needs. A flexible mapping solution allows administrators to manage data and customize how it is displayed from a single interface. With fewer screens, data is more manageable and you have everything you need in one view, versus trying to get the right information from multiple screens of data. Managing several displays of data takes more time to decipher and can lead to human error, which negatively impacts response times. Using common operating picture (COP) software can aggregate multiple sources of data to streamline the entire response process for faster decision-making.
You can also get access to caller information like criminal histories, past residences, and even next of kin information which is vital to officer and emergency responders’ safety. Comprehensive, smart geospatial solutions for public safety can integrate with local records so officers can see outstanding warrants on callers and adjust their response accordingly.
Speed of ECC Systems
The huge influx of non-emergency calls makes answering all emergency calls in a timely manner difficult. Many municipalities work with small budgets so hiring additional staff isn’t a realistic option, which is why all technology needs to run smoothly and quickly for optimum ECC performance.
In order to keep systems running efficiently, it’s important for ECC leaders to perform an analysis and repair places where communication breaks down. Antiquated systems are cumbersome both to run and also to determine and implement repairs since storing extensive data on the premises creates lag. On the other hand, a cloud-based system provides continuous security monitoring and seamless, fast updates. The cloud offers unlimited data storage capabilities, which will never restrict your ECC process.
Effective planning by ECC managers and supervisors is critical to the ECC’s success. It’s important to identify the vital components of operational processes like IT and communication systems that are necessary to continue providing emergency services.
A crucial part of that planning involves evaluating emergency communication technology to see whether it performs against industry standards and call volume loads. Without being equipped with the proper technology, dispatchers aren’t able to make effective responses to emergencies. Network resiliency and training all staff on the software is essential to maintain service levels despite any problems that may arise. Plus, planning includes keeping up with minimum staffing levels to ensure there are enough employees to take care of call volumes. Reviewing data reports from ECC location intelligence software helps to identify trends for better resource planning. Forecasting ECC growth also plays a factor since hardware quantity must increase as well, or, consider how cloud-based technology is easily scalable.
How to Implement a New Cloud-Based Emergency Solution
With appropriate training, ECC staff can feel confident in the data they’re receiving and the entire response process. Multiple data points, common operating picture with real-time views, and cloud-based capabilities benefit response times and ECC efficiency. In order to integrate new location software, consider the state of the current technology being used. You can compare your ECC to our 4 Stages of Technology in an ECC to identify possible areas of improvement. An experienced emergency response software provider like Comtech can also pinpoint what applications and solutions would best correlate with your structure, then facilitate implementation.
Get Started Today
SmartResponse™ is a cloud-based data and map solution designed for public safety professionals to give ECC’s as much information and location intelligence as possible when taking an emergency call. With an intuitive geospatial mapping display that combines information from many real-time sources, including 46,000+ DOT camera feeds, decision-making can be streamlined. Connect with the COP technology experts at Comtech to learn how SmartResponse™ integrates with your ECC operations. Free demos are gladly provided so you can see how situational awareness is elevated and how cloud-based technology can serve your ECC well into the future.