No matter what corner of the world, citizens rely on public safety organizations to provide quick, reliable service. They want assurance that help will be there when they need it. This is a tall order for agencies everywhere – one that requires the right tools and information to make quick, well-informed decisions. Data analysis can not only help ensure agencies are consistently meeting these expectations, but it can also be used to establish a measurable performance benchmark.
Public safety organizations can leverage real-time and historic analysis to:
- Support situational awareness
- Gain deeper insights
- Uncover community trends
- Enhance transparency
- Improve agencywide efficiency
Here’s a closer look at these five key benefits:
#1 – Support for situational awareness
Those who monitor incoming and outgoing data in real-time know how it supports situational awareness from the public safety answering point (PSAP) to the field. Post-event reporting provides follow-on insights, but real-time information offers responders a greater understanding about a call for service prior to arrival. It also helps determine if there are enough units and personnel available to handle the call.
#2 – Deeper insights from the PSAP to the field
The flow of information begins in the PSAP with the first call, and every piece of subsequent information collected by a call-taker becomes an integral piece of data. This information can include:
- Event times
- Response times
- Number of available units
- Other pertinent details related to the incident scene
In organizations where analytics solutions are accessible via web browsers, responders in the field can easily access the analytic tools through in-unit or handheld mobile devices. This gives them access to spatial analysis and playback, which can offer a view of data over time and by geographical area, number of available units, and the status of those units. This data, combined with other sources of information, can help responders develop a clear picture of a scene before, during, and after the first call for service.
#3 – Community trend identification
Responders carry a wealth of knowledge about their respective coverage areas. They know where most of their calls for service will originate, but data can validate those hunches.
Reports using data from an organization’s computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system can identify a number of trends, including call locations and type of call (e.g., medical, fire, crime, or other type of incident). This information can ensure adequate unit coverage and staffing during peak times.
#4 – Enhanced transparency through reporting
Transparency, a necessity for any organization, is easily supported with factual, prompt reporting. If there are internal or external questions about procedures, officials can simply run a report using data from the organization’s CAD or records management system (RMS).
For example, fire departments can easily satisfy media requests about a fire call with a report detailing time of call, time of unit arrival, number of units and personnel, and total time on scene.
Reporting can also support compliance with legal requirements and standards and validate funding requests for more units, personnel, or service hubs.
#5 – Improved operations
If an organization is committed to improving performance, data can easily show what areas are lacking. For example, EMS leaders looking to speed up emergency response can review response and arrival times to see where changes need to be made. Similarly, PSAP leaders can review call-takers’ performance and dispatching capabilities to determine if personnel are working at peak efficiency.
To some, data may look like nothing more than numbers, charts, and graphs, but it can help organizations overcome challenges, particularly where employees are concerned. First responders, whether in the PSAP or in the field, are an organization’s most important assets, and data can not only ease demands of their jobs, but also their well-being.
Data can also lead to decreased costs, improved efficiency, and increased employee engagement. The overwhelming benefit for any organization, however, is the peace of mind absolute truth can provide.
To learn more about how data can benefit agencies from the PSAP to the field, read our blog, How data can improve your PSAP.