Northwest dispatchers are ready when callers do not speak English | Fire departments face challenges in recruiting volunteers | Drones could hinder efforts to battle wildfires, officials say
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August 20, 2014
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Northwest dispatchers are ready when callers do not speak English
Dispatchers in the Northwest often deal with non-English-speaking 9-1-1 callers, so all call centers in the region have contracts with translation services. Connecting a translator to a call takes extra time, however, and there are times when dispatchers may not recognize the language of the caller. Oregon Public Broadcasting (8/19)
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Fire departments face challenges in recruiting volunteers
The number of volunteer firefighters is down 11% since the 1980s because of factors such as increased fundraising time commitments and an aging rural population, the National Fire Protection Association says. Volunteers save fire departments about $140 billion a year, the association says, but the time and cost associated with certification present further hurdles for would-be volunteers. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (8/16)
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Drones could hinder efforts to battle wildfires, officials say
Private use of drone aircraft near wildfires could contribute to increased threats for crews and slow firefighting efforts, officials said. Drones have entered restricted airspace near wildfires in at least three instances this year, compared with one such occurrence in 2013, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. Reno Gazette-Journal (Nev.) (tiered subscription model)/The Associated Press (8/16)
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Introducing Spōk, a next-generation critical communications company. More than 125,000 organizations worldwide rely on Spōk for workflow improvement, secure texting, paging services, contact center optimization, and public safety response. Watch video.
 
Policy Pulse
Texas gets 3-year spectrum-lease deal with FirstNet
The FirstNet board and the state of Texas have agreed to a three-year spectrum-management lease that will allow the 2-year-old public safety LTE network in Harris County to operate without the special temporary approval it had from the board. This will allow Harris County to expand the network from 14 sites to 93. Urgent Communications (8/15)
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Baker: Text-to-9-1-1 rules could stifle innovation
The Federal Communications Commission's Aug. 8 ruling that requires carriers to support the delivery of 9-1-1 text messages to call centers is a well-meaning but misguided decision that will discourage investment in new wireless technology, CTIA President Meredith Attwell Baker writes for GigaOm. She contends that rules that fail to recognize mobility's technical complexities will "undercut investment and give rise to great uncertainty -- and in the process, hamper innovation." GigaOm (8/16)
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Innovation Insights
Evacuation model, incident simulator help prepare first responders
New modeling and simulation programs are helping first responders prepare for emergencies. For example, the Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center has created an online, real-time evacuation-planning model that estimates the time it takes to evacuate a location after a disaster. Meanwhile, Little Arms Studios is working on an interactive virtual incident simulator, which uses a computer-game format to train firefighters for high-stress environments. NationalDefenseMagazine.org (8/18)
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NENA News
NENA 2015 Call for Papers Now Open!
Attendees of our conference are always looking for new and better ways of doing things in their professional and personal lives. Feedback from previous conferences shows that attendees expect to walk out of each breakout with key takeaways that are new and can be immediately implemented when they return to their offices. The NENA 2015 Conference Team is looking for session proposals in a variety of topic areas. Learn more.
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NENA announces webinar on Managing High Volume & High Stress Days for August 27
This webinar provides centers large and small with the resources needed to overcome those truly challenging days. Through a review of operational tactics and resource management; a list of issues to discuss with your fire, police, and EMS partners; training tips; and expert insights from those who have been there, you'll come away prepared to help your agency successfully handle the busy days ... no matter how busy they really are. Learn more.
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SmartQuote
Most people say that it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: It is character."
-- Albert Einstein,
German-American theoretical physicist
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