Helping PSAPs see the big picture
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PSAPs also can leverage speech-analytics data to fulfill and improve operational procedures. Many call-takers are required to undergo a litany of certification courses and training programs before they are qualified to handle 911 calls. For example, public-safety professionals in Georgia are required to undergo 40 hours of training to obtain certification from the Georgia Crime Information Center and endure intensive call-taking and radio-communications training for each agency being dispatched.
Many counties or smaller municipal PSAPs require additional certifications. In Georgia’s Carroll County, 911 operators must participate in six to 12 months of on-the-job instruction, including training on the use of telecommunications devices for the hearing- and speech-impaired communities; CPR training; and emergency medical dispatch training, which includes a national certification.
Using speech analytics, PSAPs can analyze all calls that have been answered within a specific agency during the past year to determine the skills that are needed most, and to uncover whether there are cyclical patterns in the calls. If a PSAP frequently receives calls requiring 911 operators to explain to the caller how to perform CPR, this may reveal the need for more call-takers to be CPR-certified. This in turn should reduce the number of calls that need to be transferred to another operator with a higher degree of training. This provides a specific and documented approach to required skills, instead of a general observation, which may not hold the same urgency when determining departmental priorities for serving the public.
Additionally, speech analytics can be used to determine whether a specific call-taker is taking too long to obtain necessary information, whether he is asking the right questions, and whether he is providing the correct response in specific emergency situations. By analyzing how 911 calls are handled from the moment they enter the PSAP until the emergency has been resolved, agency officials can gain greater insight into deficiencies. This information can be used to modify standard operating procedures, highlight best practices and implement additional call-taker training.