July 2015 Newsletter

July 2015

Winbourne Consulting offers a full range of public safety services, including strategic planning, systems integration, specifications development, solution acquisition, and implementation project management and quality assurance.

Our Areas of Expertise encompass all segments of Public Safety, including:

  • PSAP Consolidation
  • NextGen/911 Strategic Planning and Implementation
  • Public Safety Communications and Telephony
  • Public Safety Applications and Systems Requirements and Implementation Support
  • Mission Critical Facilities Design and Fit-Out
  • 311 Call Centers and Implementation
  • PSAP Staffing and Operations Analysis

Our Clients include city, county, state, and federal agencies located throughout the United States and the world, as well as countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, the Caribbean, and South America.

 

We are interested in your thoughts on the newsletter topics. To share them with us, please visit our blog or follow us on Twitter.

 

For more information about our services and solutions, visit our website or follow us on LinkedIn.

PSAP Operations Management

Balancing Speed, Accuracy and Action

 

Public safety officials commonly use the term “fast response times” when describing the desired performance objective for PSAP, police, fire and EMS operations. The phrase “seconds count” is often used to describe the urgency of life critical events and how fragile public safety operations can be. The need for a “fast response” is also frequently used as the driving force to justify the acquisition of personnel, vehicles, technology systems and equipment.

 

While “speed” is an important factor, it should not be considered the primary performance metric to assess public safety operations. Getting a police car, fire truck or ambulance to an incident location quickly will not achieve optimum results if the location is the wrong address, responding personnel were unnecessarily placed in danger at the scene, or an incorrect complement of fire apparatus were dispatched to the event. Equal to “speed” is the accuracy of information that is obtained and disseminated, and the ability of key personnel to take the correct action based on circumstances, and well-designed policies and procedures. Maximum operational effectiveness can only be achieved through a thorough Operations Management review, with the goal of achieving a balanced combination of speed, accuracy and correct actions.

 

Operations Management

BusinessDictionary.com defines “operations management” as “The design, execution, and control of operations that convert resources into desired goods and services, and implement a company's business strategy. (Note: There is a wealth of academic, business and public safety specific information concerning operations management available on numerous reputable websites.)

 

Achieving maximum operational effectiveness requires a team effort with all team members operating from, and understanding a single game plan. The most critical success factor is the inclusion of all stakeholders when conceptualizing, developing and implementing the plan. Of specific importance are government and public safety leadership who must provide a clear governance structure, positive environment, strategic direction, financial support, decision making authority and desired performance metrics to measure success. In addition to leadership, other key stakeholders include:

  • PSAP personnel - Call takers, dispatchers, supervisors, directors and support personnel
  • Public safety field operations - Police, fire, and EMS personnel from all relevant sections and ranks
  • Emergency management – Disaster planning/National Incident Management System
  • Information technology – Integration, security, stability, availability, performance, and continuity of operations of public safety technology systems
  • Technology system companies – Ensure public safety departments achieve full value from Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) public safety systems such as 9-1-1, CAD/RMS/Mobile, GIS/mapping, AVL, and Logging & Recording systems
  • Partnerships – Leverage external personnel for subject matter expertise and lessons learned
  • Other Call Centers – Entities such as 311 that can help reduce workload and manage extraordinary call volume
  • Public safety industry organizations, government entities, fellow practitioners, and user groups—providing best practices, standards and guidelines

 

Achieving maximum operational effectiveness requires serious collaboration, cooperation and communication, using a well-choreographed ballet between people, business processes, policies, procedures, and Information Technology systems.

 

The Roadmap Starts with a Vision and Objective Assessment

In his book Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap, author James C. Collins describes “how companies transition from being average companies to great companies and how companies fail to make the transition...” There is no easy path to Maximum Operational Effectiveness. A PSAP must want to accomplish that level of success and put forth the level of effort to accomplish it. Unfortunately, the road starts with an honest objective analysis of current operations, or as stated in Good to Great - “Confront the Brutal Facts.” This means every minuscule step of the workflow, every position in the workflow, every technology system used in the workflow; management, policies, procedures, training; and the knowledge, skills and abilities of all personnel. The goal is to identify all opportunities for improvement no matter how large or small. These opportunities can be discovered by anyone, at all levels of PSAP operations, at any time. It is imperative that personnel understand the positive aspects of problem identification and problem solving. Leadership must create a culture in which all personnel are open to objective critical assessments, do not resist change and are constantly seeking to improve public safety operations.

 

Digital Display for Public Safety Communications CentersPSAP Operations

As we all know PSAPs come in a wide variety of flavors. Differences include the size of the jurisdiction(s) served, PSAP model employed (i.e., Primary PSAP/Secondary PSAP), number of agencies the PSAP supports, governance (i.e., independent organization versus a division within a police, fire or EMS department), workload (i.e., 9-1-1, switchboard/admin lines, radio) and relationship to other PSAPs (i.e. stand-alone, co-located or consolidated). The good news is that the same assessment process can be applied to every PSAP flavor, albeit some flavors offer more complexity than others. This is especially true for multi-jurisdiction PSAPs. While politics should not play a role in 9-1-1/PSAP operations in the real world, we all know they often do. The best advice is to 1. Understand the environment, players (detractors and advocates) and landmines to navigate the waters effectively and 2. Develop a solid business case using PSAP and public safety industry standards, guidelines, best practices, policies and procedures to support the cause. Creating a strong business case supported by nationally accepted best practices from professional public safety organizations often thwarts contrary positions. Finally, it is extremely important to obtain executive involvement to champion PSAP objectives.

 

Maximum Operational Capacity and Flexibility for Dynamic Decision-Making

The assessment should include a variety perspectives and environments. For example, 9-1-1/PSAP workload periods can be separated into:

  1. “Normal” operations
  2. Peak workload (i.e., rush hour, busy periods),
  3. Extraordinary call volume (i.e., temporary significant increase in 9-1-1 calls due to an incident) and
  4. Sustained extraordinary call volume (i.e., extended extraordinary volume due to severe weather, natural or manmade disaster).

 

As defined in the book Operations Management for Competitive Advantage, “capacity” is defined as “the ability to hold, receive, store, or accommodate.” For business purposes, capacity is viewed as the amount of output that a system is capable of achieving over a specific period of time. In a service setting such as public safety, it is the number of customers that can be handled in a specific time period. Obtaining a maximum output at the greatest efficiency and effectiveness possible is the objective of “maximum practical capacity” planning.

 

Flexibility and the ability to make dynamic decisions based on situational awareness and real time circumstances should be a core component of the operations assessment. Public safety workload is dynamic and can change in an instant. Workload can be influenced by numerous factors including the season/month, day of week, time of day, severe weather, special events; local, regional, national and global issues; criminal acts, terrorism, accidental events of every shape and size; plus a myriad of other reasons. At any instant 9-1-1 phones lines can light up with an overwhelming surge of emergency calls. Personnel from the PSAP to field operations must have the authority and capability to adjust their business processes accordingly to effectively manage the workload surge. This is no different than the establishment of triage rules during a Mass Casualty Incident (MCI). Normal EMS protocols for providing aid are temporarily replaced with MCI protocols that have been designed to manage a significantly higher level of workload. Additionally, PSAPs have a role in all four phases of emergency planning; 1. Risk Reduction, 2. Readiness, 3. Response and 4. Recovery, thus each phase should be included in the operations plan.

 

Next Month (Part 2)

”Effectively Performing the Assessment”

 

Winbourne Happenings

 

Winbourne Consulting assists the Las Vegas Metro Police Department (LVMPD)Winbourne Consulting assists the Las Vegas Metro Police Department (LVMPD) in the analysis of the responses they received for their NG9-1-1 CPE RFP. Rapidly following the initial contact from LVMPD, Winbourne provided LVMPD a team of subject matter experts in NG9-1-1 CPE to guide, advise, and evaluate the Department’s requirements and the responses to the RFP. Working closely with LVMPD, Winbourne was able to assist LVMPD in selecting a winning vendor and begin successful contract negotiations. LVMPD is currently in the implementation phase of their new solution.

 

"Winbourne Consulting provided a level of expertise in NG911 CPE that was critical to our success in evaluating both our needs and the best vendor to meet those needs. Their experience in selection and implementation provided the perspective we needed to prepare for skilled negotiations. They have been very responsive during tight timeframes. Their guidance and patience with answering questions from all of our team members, from dispatcher to chief financial officer, have been invaluable to gaining project buy-in at all levels."

-Denise Kee, Director, LVMPD Communication Center

 

Winbourne Consulting Assisting Harvard University PoliceWinbourne Consulting Assisting Harvard University Police

Winbourne Consulting was engaged by the Harvard University Police Department (HUPD) to assist the Department in receiving timely notifications of emergencies on or near University properties in Boston and Cambridge, MA. The project included interviews with Cambridge and Boston Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP) and other stakeholders, to include the regional Urban Area Security Initiative (USAI) Project Manager to discuss technical and operational options for HUPD to facilitate notifications to HUPD. We also prepared a cost estimate for implementing the approved solution and the timeline for implementation.

 

Winbourne Consulting Awarded Virginia Consulting Services Pre-Qualified Vendors List (PVL)Winbourne Consulting Awarded Virginia Consulting Services Pre-Qualified Vendors List (PVL)

Winbourne Consulting was selected for the Consulting Services Pre-Qualified Vendors List (PVL) for the Commonwealth of Virginia. The PVL, managed by the Department of General Services/Division of Purchases and Supply (DGS/DPS), offers a variety of prequalified consultants offering specialized expertise that state agencies and other public bodies can acquire consulting services from on an “as-needed” basis. The government agencies can seek quotes and proposals for Statements of Work (SOW) for services, not-to-exceed (“NTE”) $100,000.

 

Winbourne attended the recent Body Worn Camera Industry Days hosted by the Fairfax County and Prince William County Police Departments and held at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, Virginia. The show was attended by numerous public safety departments from the surrounding area. There were more than 30 exhibitors representing all facets of a Body Worn Camera System from the actual cameras to the storage systems that will be required to hold the huge amounts of data that the videos generate. A large amount of discussions were related to the need for defined policies and procedures prior to the acquisition of the system as those policies and procedures will have a very significant impact on the cost and maintenance of the system. Our CEO, Jeff Winbourne, was interviewed by Channel 4 NBC Washington regarding some of the issues surrounding the implementation of BWC systems. You can view the interview by clicking on the following link - Latest-Body-Cameras-on-Display-at-Va.-Expo*.

 

Winbourne Consulting attends NENA 2015 in Denver Colorado

NENA 2015 was very well attended with numerous NG9-1-1, GIS, and FirstNet presentations. As only about 30% of states have begun or completed the implementation of NG9-1-1 at this point, there remains great interest from the remaining public safety entities as to the lessons learned to date. One popular session was a panel discussion focused on the considerations of an NG9-1-1 RFP, from the perspective of some early adopters and vendors. A key take-away from this session was the need to spend the time identifying the PSAP requirements which ideally involves engaging the stakeholders early in the process. Another session that prompted significant interest explored the components involved in Transition, Migration, Cutover, and Rollback plans in the implementation of NG9-1-1, with real-world examples highlighting the relevance of each plan. Additionally, there is growing interest in cloud technology for PSAPs as the public sector is benefiting from the private sector cloud implementations.

 

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) sessions at NENA discussed the interaction between ALI, MSAG, and GIS, as well as the increasing importance of GIS map data containing accurate location information, as PSAPs move toward the goal of geo-spatial routing.

 

The overlap and integration of FirstNet and NG9-1-1 continues to be a hot topic, as evidenced by one NENA session hosted, in part, by the National FirstNet team, the National 911 Program office, and the Internet2 Technology Evaluation Center, a public safety research facility at Texas A&M University. This particular session focused on NG9-1-1 and public safety broadband interoperability. The team stressed the importance of doing “table top exercises” to role play how to use data in an emerging event. A live exercise observation workshop is being held in early November, to include cybersecurity concerns in the dedicated public safety broadband network. For more information on that upcoming event, check out: http://itec.tamu.edu.

 

 

Industry Events

 

APCO Annual Conference & ExpoAPCO Annual Conference & Expo

August 16-19, 2015

Washington, DC

 

 

Gear up for the public safety communications industry’s biggest event of the year! If you are a supervisor, manager, director; telecommunicator and dispatcher; engineer/technician; 9-1-1 coordinator; police or fire chief, you’ve got to be in Washington, DC, in August 2015.

 

http://www.apco2015.org/

 

NENA Development Conference

http://www.nena.org/

 

 

IACP Annual Conference

October 24-27, 2015

Chicago, Illinois

 

Join us in Chicago on October 24-27, 2015, for the 122nd IACP Annual Conference and Exposition!

Every year, the IACP Annual Conference and Exposition supplies you and your department with powerful advantages, bringing together an unmatched educational program, renowned keynote speakers, community-building special events and the largest collection of tactical equipment and technology solutions available for law enforcement.

 

Join thousands of dedicated professionals from federal, state, county, local and tribal agencies at IACP 2015 — you and your team will get the intelligence, strategies and solutions you need to sharpen your edge and better serve and protect.

 

http://www.theiacpconference.org/iacp2015/public/enter.aspx

Articles of Interest

 

APCO International Public Safety CommunicationsAirbus DS Communications Launches Text-to-9-1-1 Solution, Other Upgrades to VESTA 9-1-1 Suite

The launch of the VESTA SMS solution, the company’s text-to-9-1-1 platform, an entirely new VESTA Map solution, and has significant upgrades to the VESTA Analytics solution. Each delivers leading edge technology to strengthen and advance public safety communications for communities of all sizes.

 

http://psc.apcointl.org/2015/06/29/airbus-ds-communications-launches-text-to-9-1-1-solution-other-upgrades-to-vesta-9-1-1-suite/

 

 

CivSource LogoIN-CAR SHARING COMES TO LAW ENFORCEMENT

Police dispatchers can easily become a bottleneck, making it difficult to coordinate responses and share information. Dallas, Texas based COPsync is looking to change all of that with a new in-car sharing system. COPsync operates a real-time network for law enforcement agencies that enables patrol officers to collect, report and share critical data in real time at the point of incident and obtain instant access to various local, state and federal law enforcement databases.

 

IN-CAR SHARING COMES TO LAW ENFORCEMENT

 

Radio Resource Media GroupDHS Interoperability Bill Becomes Law

President Obama signed into law H.R. 615, the “Department of Homeland Security Interoperable Communications Act,” on July 6. The bill adds to the responsibilities of the undersecretary for management of the Department of Homeland Security including management and administration of policies and directives to achieve and maintain interoperable communications among the components of the department.

 

DHS Interoperability Bill Becomes Law

 

NENA The 911 AssociationNATIONAL NG9-1-1 TRANSITION MAP UPDATE

The NENA NG9-1-1 project work includes tracking of state and sub-state initiatives to establish and activate Emergency Services IP networks that may support NG9-1-1 functions in the future, or that are actively implementing transitional NG9-1-1 or are aimed at pre-NG9-1-1 actions. View Updated Map

 

http://www.nena.org/news/231169/National-NG9-1-1-Transition-Map-Update.htm