Mass. municipalities get new regional dispatch center | 200K first responders complete traffic incident safety program | VOIP phones may lack location accuracy for 9-1-1 calls
August 17, 2016
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Making the Call
Mass. municipalities get new regional dispatch center
The new multimillion-dollar regional emergency dispatch center for Worcester and Leicester, Mass., includes more comfortable and airy workspaces for dispatchers and a $7 million digital transmitting system that will improve call quality and reduce communication dead zones, officials said. "These investments in our public safety infrastructure are some of the smartest money a city can spend," said Worcester City Manager Edward Augustus Jr.
The Republican (Springfield, Mass.) (8/11) 
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200K first responders complete traffic incident safety program
The US Department of Transportation hit a milestone when 200,000 first responders nationwide completed the federal "Traffic Incident Management" program. The training helps first responders better protect themselves and others involved in a traffic accident investigation and cleanup.
The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (8/10) 
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Policy Pulse
FCC official says PSAPs need complete, accurate maps
Public safety answering points must have complete and accurate maps to complement efforts by the wireless communications industry and the government to improve 9-1-1 emergency location information, said David Simpson, the Federal Communications Commission's public safety chief. Incomplete and inaccurate maps can delay emergency responses and cost lives.
Urgent Communications (8/16) 
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Wash. dispatcher shortage leads to mandatory overtime shifts
Washington state has 30 emergency-dispatcher positions that are unfilled, leading to voluntary and mandatory overtime shifts. A low pay rate and lack of qualified candidates are cited for the shortage.
NBC.com (8/15) 
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Innovation Insights
Phase II technology, GIS mapping help find accident victim
Dispatchers in Claiborne, Tenn., were able to use Phase II location technology and GIS mapping to find a woman who was trapped inside her wrecked car, which was upside-down over an embankment, said Claiborne 9-1-1 executive director Roger Hager. Dispatchers were not immediately able to connect, but continued to narrow the search until an effort to rebid resulted in a bounce from the tower located by Phase I technology to a Phase II location, which helped pinpoint the car, Hager said.
Harlan Daily Enterprise (Ky.) (8/11) 
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Virginia Tech research to help first responders, disaster recovery
The National Science Foundation has awarded grants totaling $1.7 million to Virginia Tech. About $900,000 will support research to promote unmanned systems that first responders use to assess environmental hazards, and $876,000 will go toward finding ways to restore transportation and power grids knocked out during disasters.
WTKR-TV (Norfolk, Va.) (8/11) 
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