The Call - Winter 2016 - 16

recommends that QA evaluations
be done as soon as possible after
the receipt of the call and the radio
dispatch, but no later than five
days following.
"Supervisors should never wait until
the end of the month to do QA," Botz
reiterates. "Calls should be reviewed
daily or at a minimum weekly. Waiting
until the end of the month leaves the
door open for telecommunicators to
make the same mistakes throughout the
month. By identifying performance gaps
and bringing them to the attention of
employees sooner you can remediate
them that much quicker through
coaching or training."
Employees should also have the
opportunity to review their evaluations
and listen to their recordings prior to
meeting with a supervisor. This will make
the feedback session more effective
and productive.

Best Practice #6: Accentuate
the Positive
According to Ornberg, in addition
to using the QA process as a way
to identify learning opportunities,
PSAPs should leverage it as a way
to reinforce good behaviors and
recognize excellence. One way to
do this is to include an "exceeds
standards" category on all evaluation
forms. A supervisor can then send
a message of appreciation to the
telecommunicator and display a team
alert to recognize a job well done.
There are many creative ways to
reward top achievers: A callout in
an employee publication, a letter of
commendation from a supervisor, a pat
on the back in an employee meeting,
an opportunity to attend a regional
or national APCO/NENA conference, a
preferred parking spot, and so on.
Another way to recognize excellent
performance is to incorporate best
practice calls into a curriculum to
train other telecommunicators. The
person handling the call benefits from
recognition while also helping to inspire
and educate others.


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Best Practice #7: Consider Adding
Screen Recordings to QA Reviews
Telecommunicators handle hundreds
of different kinds of calls, all requiring
different protocols and processes, and
a host of systems. A single misstep
in following a protocol, a single
miscommunication, or a system glitch
could all have disastrous consequences.
When issues do occur, it can be
very difficult to get to the heart of
the problem. Simply listening to the
audio recordings and accessing the
Computer‑Aided Dispatch (CAD) details
only paints a partial picture. On the
other hand, recording and synchronizing
voice and screen recordings can provide
complete visibility into every facet of
call handling.
Telecommunicators typically have
between three to six screens running
on their console. This usually includes
CAD, GIS mapping software, call
handling, 9‑1‑1 text messaging, and
other applications. Today's screen
capture applications are able to record
a telecommunicator's interactions with
multiple monitors simultaneously.
Here are some reasons to add screen
recording to your QA program:
Be Comprehensive: The new standard
recommends that all parts of the
incident communications be reviewed
for quality assurance, including: call
taking, dispatching, data entry (including
CAD records and notes), post‑dispatch
instructions, pre‑arrival instructions,
answers to protocol/systemized
interrogation questions, etc. QA software
that includes synchronized playback of
audio and screen recordings allows a
supervisor to review all of these activities
as part of a complete timeline and
through one interface.
Identify Skill Gaps and Discrepancies: You
can also identify gaps between what was
said and what was done by listening to the
voice recordings and comparing them to
the synchronized screen recording.
Ensure Compliance: Screen recording can
also help PSAPs ensure compliance. For

example, an agency may have a protocol
that requires telecommunicators to run a
check to see whether or not a suspect in
a domestic violence incident owns a gun.
The results of that check would then need
to be communicated to the responding
officer, and entered into the CAD system
as well (so the officer would also see it on
his in‑vehicle mobile device). Replaying
the radio recording would confirm that
the verbal communication took place,
and the initial weapons check and
subsequent entry into CAD could be easily
confirmed through screen recording.
Spot System Bottlenecks: Screen
recording can help identify and isolate
system problems that impact operator
performance and, ultimately, service to
your community. One PSAP that uses
screen recording says that they were able
to isolate issues with their CAD system
that were subsequently corrected.
Enhance Coaching and Skills
Development: Complete, synchronized
incident timelines that recreate every
aspect of how a call was handled
are beneficial for coaching and
skills development.

Best Practice #8: Selecting the
Right Quality Assurance Evaluator
"The responsibility for reviewing
telecommunicator work performance
and documenting compliance with
your agency's directives and standards
through evaluations ultimately falls on
the Quality Assurance Evaluator, or QAE,"
said Ornberg. "The person or people you
select for this key role need to know your
agency's policies and procedures inside
and out, and be thoroughly dedicated to
the advancement of your agency."
Ornberg said that integrity is also
critical. "I think that's probably the
number one aspect of a QAE. There can't
be friendship discounts. They need to
exhibit a professional attitude and be
thorough, consistent and objective."

Best Practice #9: Calibrate
Often for Consistency
Simply using the same criteria to
evaluate everyone doesn't guarantee
that QA evaluations will be consistent


Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Call - Winter 2016

President’s Message
From the CEO
Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail: The Gatlinburg Fires
Government Affairs
10 Best Practices to Improve Your 9-1-1 Quality Assurance Program
Tech Trends
NENA Helps Bring Disability Awareness Training to the Forefront
Educational and Operational Issues
Public Safety Product and Service Buyer’s Guide
Index to Advertisers/
The Call - Winter 2016 - cover1
The Call - Winter 2016 - cover2
The Call - Winter 2016 - 3
The Call - Winter 2016 - 4
The Call - Winter 2016 - 5
The Call - Winter 2016 - 6
The Call - Winter 2016 - 7
The Call - Winter 2016 - President’s Message
The Call - Winter 2016 - From the CEO
The Call - Winter 2016 - Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail: The Gatlinburg Fires
The Call - Winter 2016 - 11
The Call - Winter 2016 - 12
The Call - Winter 2016 - Government Affairs
The Call - Winter 2016 - 10 Best Practices to Improve Your 9-1-1 Quality Assurance Program
The Call - Winter 2016 - 15
The Call - Winter 2016 - 16
The Call - Winter 2016 - 17
The Call - Winter 2016 - 18
The Call - Winter 2016 - Tech Trends
The Call - Winter 2016 - NENA Helps Bring Disability Awareness Training to the Forefront
The Call - Winter 2016 - 21
The Call - Winter 2016 - 22
The Call - Winter 2016 - Operations
The Call - Winter 2016 - Educational and Operational Issues
The Call - Winter 2016 - 25
The Call - Winter 2016 - Public Safety Product and Service Buyer’s Guide
The Call - Winter 2016 - 27
The Call - Winter 2016 - 28
The Call - Winter 2016 - 29
The Call - Winter 2016 - 30
The Call - Winter 2016 - 31
The Call - Winter 2016 - 32
The Call - Winter 2016 - 33
The Call - Winter 2016 - Index to Advertisers/
The Call - Winter 2016 - cover3
The Call - Winter 2016 - cover4