Dispatch software is used the globe over – for reasons ranging from coordinating truck movement for logistics companies, to assisting first responder callouts. While this dispatch management software is nothing new to industry, the rate at which new tech is transforming management systems is extraordinary.
Working in public safety holds a particularly important application of dispatch software, as every second counts. Whether your company responds to natural disasters, search and rescue, law enforcement work and policing, time is of the essence. In addition to effective training, the dispatch software you use can revolutionise your response outcomes. So let’s have a look at some of the benefits that using advanced technologies can help you achieve.
Unfortunately, public safety agencies are very often on the receiving end of time sensitive calls. And the volume of calls – especially ones of a more urgent nature – can take an emotional toll on dispatchers. Across the country, 911 evidence finds that where the volume of calls increases, so too does dispatcher burnout, absenteeism and the turnover rate.
When incoming calls need to be assigned to their relevant operators or units, the smallest mistake made could mean the difference between life or death. This is why another huge benefit of dispatch software is the reduction in system or response errors.
Dispatching serves an essential function, but no one in any job is immune to human error. What has transformed dispatch software, fortunately, is the introduction of computer aided dispatch systems (CAD). Gone are the days where wrong locations or typing errors could be life-threatening. Now, the requesting agency is able to input details directly into the software! This is usually done through accessing a web portal.
Having a central response request system, including one with chat messaging functions, means that the need to communicate verbally diminishes. What happens is that the dispatch request data is input and processed on the dispatchers’ system. Because all data is input electronically, request and response information can be processed and analysed much faster. This leads us to the next benefit: response tracking.
What remains key to every law enforcement agency and public safety division, where every second counts, is learning how to improve response time. Being able to access all previous requests and their outcomes is extremely advantageous, and gives your organisation plenty of operational insight to enhance service.
What is also useful with cutting-edge CAD software is the ability to identify available resources and to allocate these resources effectively. Your agency is granted access to a comprehensive database of vehicles and persons; and with the use of integrated mapping through a more advanced records management system (RMS), you will be surprised at the accuracy with which requests and responses can be tracked.
The latest dispatch software is using cloud storage instead of having to need on-site servers, saving you time and money. Instant remote access to your data through the cloud also means that using the software can be done virtually through any device connected to the internet. Being accessible remotely will provide your dispatchers with much more flexibility, as they will not necessarily have to be based at your workstation to respond to requests in the field.
An added benefit of being cloud based is improved security, as data is automatically encrypted through intelligent software. Due to the data being run directly through cloud servers, it also automates encryption and essential CJIS- and HIPAA- compliance. This increases privacy of data, while being able to immediately detect threats which could compromise the integrity of your response system or information otherwise held on outdated and exposed software.
Technology is improving exponentially, and one of the revolutionary new software offerings is AgencyLink. Through systems like AgencyLink, strictly managing staff and agency accounts is much easier. Secure and controlled access will not only be possible, but it is a fantastic way to ensure that account holders cannot misuse the system. If staff are doing so, their accounts (and access to this information) can be revoked at any time.
Within the CAD system, all dispatch requests, how quickly the responders were able to get to the scene, as well as any important details about the case are recorded. This allows you, in terms of the responder access, to assess the personal performance of staff and measure the progress of new employees. Being able to have these numbers on your system enables management to improve training for new recruits, as well as upskill current employees if you’re seeing that their response time, for instance, is problematic.
Being able to have more eyes on an incoming or reported incident is vital, so you need software that alerts users immediately. Using the latest tech, did you know that you can now connect with a much broader range of parties who work in the same sector? Being able to instantly contact or receive requests from others in the same sector as you is extremely useful when you are low on resources to respond appropriately and this can work both ways – needing more hands-on jobs and giving a hand to other agencies who need your intervention.
Being part of a wider network improves inter-agency contact, empowering all divisions and departments in your area about the state of things. From being directly in touch with other public safety agencies to nearby jurisdictions and affected roles, advanced software is breaking the boundaries as to what is possible.
Training staff can be intimidating if the software isn’t intuitive or easy to learn. However, one of the benefits of using higher-end CAD software is that the system should offer customer support that sufficiently meets your staff needs. If you’re happy with the tech support, it should see no problem to upskill your staff with the new technology very quickly.
Remember to do thorough research on the various software packages on the market and keep an eye out for emerging systems. As previously mentioned, tech is evolving quickly, so have your ears on the ground to which products are entering the marketplace – especially those which are designed for your industry. Do not be intimidated to take advantage of software that has artificial intelligence-integrated features that can take your agency’s work and impact to the next level!