The International Academies of Emergency Dispatch conducted focus groups with minority communities in Utah and found out that many people were hesitant to call 9-1-1 because of fears of police, language barriers and other reasons. 9-1-1 dispatchers should visit such communities to explain how the system works, said Ana Sanchez-Birkhead, an associate professor at the University of Utah College of Nursing.
Communities in California and Wisconsin are trying to reduce the number of nonemergency 9-1-1 calls by introducing free primary care services for individuals in need and permitting first responders to take people to urgent care clinics rather than emergency rooms. In Owensboro, Ky., 9-1-1 officials are reminding people of the nonemergency number and asking them to use it.
Emergency departments in seven Southern California cities can now communicate more easily with a new, single digital radio system that encompasses all of them. Other agencies may join the system as well.
Personnel from nine police agencies in Northern California recently completed wellness training where they learned how to be resilient amid the stress of their work. "By appropriately processing these experiences, we are able to maintain personal wellness, which then allows us to better serve the community," said course organizer Delia Garcia, a correctional sergeant.
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9-1-1 services' ability to locate callers will improve with the set of rules approved last month by the Federal Communications Commission that will require a Z-axis location within three meters of the caller by 2021, but the FCC and emergency services stakeholders should continue refining the requirements, writes Joe Hanna of the Center for Digital Government. An additional notice of proposed rulemaking provides "a path for continued improvements as future developments in technologies are realized," Hanna writes.
AT&T recently announced that FirstNet has made 1 million connections from over 10,000 public safety agencies. The company also will add a blimp to its three drones for coverage options and has completed 75% of the 700MHz Band 14 network buildout for FirstNet.