Steve Marz, vice president of Intergraph Corp., has overseen the company's public-safety ventures for more than three years. He joins us today to discuss the challenges faced by 911 call centers and how innovations by the wireless industry can help.
Marz said when he talks to customers a common topic is how to reduce the psychological stress call takers face daily on the job. They take calls on murders or kidnappings, among other incidents, and it can take a toll on their emotional health, he said. At the same time, call takers must decipher between false-alarm calls and those that need immediate attention while simultaneously facing increased public demands based on growing call volumes.
"Call centers are trying to reduce those false alarm calls while keeping their employees focused on emergencies," he said.
Computer-aided dispatch () systems can't reduce the stress of the nature of the job. But it can aggregate call data and display it on a mapping system. Having all the data from 911 calls in one, centralized location reduces error and overall stress of handling an incident, Marz said. There is no second-guessing; all of the information is available in real time.
"It helps with situational awareness and reduce errors in the event's handling," he said.