Wisconsin city turns mental health aid into police beat | EMTs have higher risk of violent assault than firefighters | Colo. city sees increase in suicide calls
January 27, 2016
NENA SmartBrief
News for emergency communications and response professionals

Making the Call
Wisconsin city turns mental health aid into police beat
Green Bay, Wis., has responded to heavy volume of calls involving mental health issues by making two police officers specialists in that area. The officers respond only to mental health calls and help people connect with treatment and avoid jail. "We wanted to try and move from a Band-Aid type approach to a problem-solving approach where we can help connect people with services and stakeholders to give them a better quality of life and a better chance for successful treatment," said Capt. Jeremy Muraski. Green Bay Press-Gazette (Wis.) (tiered subscription model) (1/21)
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EMTs have higher risk of violent assault than firefighters
Emergency medical technicians are 14 times more likely than firefighters to experience a violent assault on the job, a study showed. The study also found that patient assault-related injuries are often not reported and are considered a part of the job. "First responders are an interesting group. They go in because they want to help, and when they go in, they encounter there situations they never got training for," said lead investigator Jennifer Taylor of the Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health. MedicalDaily.com (1/23)
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Other News
Policy Pulse
Okla. bill would revamp 9-1-1 policies, increase cellphone fees
An Oklahoma bill would put the state's 9-1-1 operations under the Department of Emergency Management and would require dispatch centers to conduct annual audits and send reports to the 911 Statewide Advisory Board. It would also increase fees per cellular contract from 50 cents to 75 cents and would direct the fees to the dispatch center where the cell user lives. Mark Suson of the Oklahoma chapter of the National Emergency Number Association said the bill is similar to others the group has supported. The Duncan Banner (Okla.) (1/21)
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FirstNet RFP draws scrutiny from major vendors, carriers
FirstNet's request-for-proposals for development of a national public safety network has drawn interest from major tech companies and carriers alike, with Intel and Motorola Solutions among the companies giving the document a close look. Also, the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System Authority said its own emergency data communications system fared well in a New Year's Day test at the Rose Parade. FierceWireless (1/19), FierceWirelessTech (1/18)
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Innovation Insights
Rural schools see urgent need for first-response teams
Colorado's Weld County School District tackled a common problem among rural districts -- the need for fast action from emergency services teams in areas where first response teams might be located miles away. The district invested in a Rapid Emergency Response System, which automatically sends a phone call to police dispatchers if an alarm is activated. SecurityInfoWatch.com (1/18)
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Texas man uses drone to help first responders
A man in Joshua, Texas, helps his local fire department by using his drone to provide an aerial view during fires. He has also used his drone to locate flooding victims and deliver equipment to rescue workers. Cleburne Times-Review (Texas) (1/23)
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When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal."
-- Napoleon Hill,
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