At NENA 2023, Steve Raucher, RapidDeploy CEO and Co-founder, joined Jacob Saur, Arlington ECC Director on stage to discuss challenges faced in recruiting and retaining telecommunicators, the path to embracing technology, and the potential of remote call-taking with the transformative power of technology in today’s PSAPs.
Here are some of the key topics and learnings from the lively session.
Staffing Shortages and Recruitment Challenges:
The industry is grappling with an average staffing shortage of 30%. The following factors are contributing to the difficulties in recruiting and retaining telecommunicators:
Remote Call Taking - A Retention Tactic:
Jacob shared how Alexandria’s 911 center has addressed remote call taking as a strategy for employee retention. Over the years, increasing workloads and the introduction of new tools have extended training times, with almost three years required for training at their center. Arlington ECC implemented 12 remote call-taking stations in dispatch and two in remote fire dispatch.
Key highlights of their approach include:
Overcoming Challenges with Technology:
Steve emphasized the need to use technology to solve problems, including staffing, operations and performance. In addition to cloud-native mapping and analytics, RapidDeploy recently announced RapidONE, a new browser-based call-handling solution that will further enhance the emergency response workflow, simplify operations and create more flexible and portable working environments. The discussion with Jake and Steve highlighted the need to embrace technology to:
By adopting flexible work arrangements and leveraging advanced tools, ECCs and PSAPs can address staffing issues, improve efficiency, and enhance emergency response services.
It is crucial for the industry to embrace innovation and adapt to the changing landscape to create a more resilient and effective emergency communication system.