Pandemic contributes to N.Y. county's dispatcher shortage | Keep up to date on COVID-19 resources through NENA | Opinion: Why 9-1-1 practices relate to police reform
July 28, 2020
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Making the Call
Suffolk County, N.Y., has a 13% vacancy rate for entry-level 9-1-1 dispatchers, which officials say is due to trainees quitting and the coronavirus pandemic slowing hiring. Current employees have had to work more overtime, and up to 15 9-1-1 operators and dispatchers are set to retire soon.
Full Story: Newsday (Long Island, N.Y.) (tiered subscription model) (7/26) 
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NENA is maintaining a page of resources for 9-1-1 authorities, PSAPs, chapters and event planners in addition to general news updates about the pandemic. Please visit this link for more information.
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9-1-1 call takers and dispatchers are frequently urged to "upgrade" incidents to warrant a larger police response, which can have negative consequences, writes former call taker Jessica Gillooly. She recommends creating more precise call categories and using standardized questions to gather information from callers, among other changes.
Full Story: The Crime Report (7/27) 
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Police and 9-1-1 officials in Idaho and North Carolina are advising residents against dialing 9-1-1 to report people not wearing face masks in public, noting that such incidents are a low priority for police response. "We will favor education over enforcement and will take a measured response to enforcement with a strong [focus] on warnings," the Kootenai County, Idaho, Sheriff's Office says.
Full Story: KREM-TV (Spokane, Wash.) (7/24),  WGHP-TV (High Point, N.C.) (7/23) 
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Response2020: The Future of 9-1-1
RapidDeploy is bringing industry leaders and exciting guest speakers together virtually at Response2020 for a full week! Explore what the future holds for your PSAP the week of September 14th. Check out what we have on the agenda and register now.
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Policy Pulse
Only about one-fifth of 9-1-1 calls to police in Austin, Texas, are for crime, and less than 1% are for violent crime, according to a report by AH Datalytics that was sponsored by the Austin Justice Coalition. The report recommends having people other than police respond to mental health calls and reducing police response to traffic accidents where no one is injured.
Full Story: Austin Monitor (Texas) (7/27) 
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Innovation Insights
AT&T executive Igal Elbaz last week described the efficiencies AT&T employees can achieve by combining tasks when climbing macro towers, including hardware upgrades needed for 5G New Radio and carrier aggregation technology. Elbaz says AT&T plans to start deploying standalone 5G toward the end of 2020.
Full Story: FierceWireless (7/24) 
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Autonomous vehicles' potential uses have been widely discussed, but these discussions rarely focus on AVs' public benefit during an emergency, writes University of San Francisco professor William Riggs. AVs could potentially be used to provide supplies to front-line workers and to facilitate evacuations during wildfires, for example.
Full Story: The Hill (7/20) 
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NENA News
NENA seeks volunteers for a new working group to write a NENA Information Document that will provide guidance and recommended best practices to the PSAPs for the use of supplemental location and caller information as identified in the Recommended Best Practices for Supplemental 9-1-1 Location Data document created by NENA staff, NASNA and iCERT. In addition to supplemental location data, this document will include emergency contact information, medical data, telematics information, and other data types available from IoT devices. For more information, please visit this link.
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One must take what comes, with laughter.
Olivia de Havilland,
actress
1916-2020
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