What are 911 leaders thinking about in 2023?
2022 was a big year for public safety and, in particular, 9-1-1. Innovative technologies and new best practices emerged in every corner of the country. That said, staffing issues, decreased budgets, and employee wellness concerns have 9-1-1 leaders looking for solutions.
It's difficult to know what 2023 will hold for 9-1-1...so we asked two experts for their thoughts! Here's what they said:
Note: content has been lightly edited for clarity
Roxy Van Gundy, ENP, RPL, Director, Lyon County Emergency Communications Center
In 2023, I’m really looking forward to discovering how artificial intelligence can support our center operations. I find AI fascinating and, as our call volume continues to grow, we will need additional support in our quality assurance efforts as well as pin pointing calls which could have a traumatic impact on our staff.
We are small, rural center and are not blessed with a 311 service. All emergency, non-emergency and 311 type calls come into our telecommunicators. It is a big goal of mine to find an alternative to take these service calls out of our call flow. Streamlining operations will continue to be a focus in this coming year.
Ken Stewart, 9-1-1 Communications Director, Tulsa Regional Emergency Communications Center
The impact of text, video, and photo in the 911 center is being closely monitored as we look at our telecommunicators’ health and wellness. Evaluating the working environment and roles of the telecommunicator to provide the best possible atmosphere while utilizing all tools available is important to the continued mission. The naturally inquisitive nature of the telecommunicator - combined with their ability to provide the best possible response and assistance to the call - aided by the enhanced tools available to them will help lesson the burden in many situations.
The addition of multimedia to the emergency communications center environment has made me consider the development of a 911 data analyst position to aggregate and assist telecommunicators in data manipulation, analytics, and collection. Further, this could assist the commercial vendor community in developing artificial intelligence for emergency communications centers. These solutions could:
- Help assist in data aggregation and crowdsourcing data from callers, but also having the ability to
- Automate notifications to potential 911 callers about situations within the area.
The end goal of these ideas is to streamline, assist, and continue to provide the best possible customer service to the public and those first responders that respond to the requests. The future of the telecommunicator and response coordination continues to be my focus. In addition, I'm focused on ensuring that we are providing the right response to the right location at the right time, with a keen eye toward the safety of the field responders.