What FirstNet Means for First Responders

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

So much of what is written these days about FirstNet has to do with the delays that have dogged the initiative since the very beginning and continue five years later. With all of the controversy, it’s easy to lose sight of why FirstNet was created in the first place and what it means for first responders.

Given the latest delays and the possibility for future uncertainty, it’s helpful to take a virtual step back to understand exactly what’s at stake for the country’s public safety communications.

The First Days of FirstNet

Congress created the First Responder Network Authority, or FirstNet, in February 2012 “to establish a nationwide broadband network for public safety.” Creation of the network was the final recommendation of the 9/11 Commission to connect police officers, firefighters and EMS providers and ensure as close to universal interoperability as possible.

The authority is led by a 15-member board with representatives from government, public safety and the wireless industry.   

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Tags: Public Safety Communications

How Two Way Radios Transformed School Safety at One Illinois District

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Thursday, January 19, 2017

When Fremont School District 79 (SD 79) wanted to improve school safety at its three Chicagoland campuses, administrators were focused on communications, both among staff and with public safety agencies, and we knew two-way radios were the answer.

We’re proud that we were able to provide a solution that blended Motorola two-way radios and a Teldio application to make the district’s 2,200 students safer.

Fremont SD 79 covers 36 square miles in the northwestern Chicago suburb of Mundelein in a part of Lake County that’s semi-rural. Forest preserve and rolling hills make it pretty isolated, and cell coverage can be spotty.

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Tags: Education

Firefighter Training on Comms Equipment Is Critical, And Not That Hard

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Comprehensive firefighter training should cover all elements of the fireground, and that includes communications equipment. Today’s radios and accessories are more intuitive than ever, but that doesn’t mean first responders don’t need upfront and continuous training to ensure that they’re ready when it matters most.

In a “Fire Engineering” Training Minutes video on radios, fire service veteran Nicolas Martin says it best: “Communications are essential on any fireground, and radios are an essential part of communication.”

Firefighter training on communications equipment doesn’t have to be arduous, and a good mix of best practices – and practice – will make it easier than you think. Providing some basic information about how radios work and dispelling misconceptions can guide training and make it easier to implement.

Here are some firefighter training tips to keep in mind:

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Tags: Public Safety Communications

30 Inspirational Quotes for Hospitality Management

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Friday, January 13, 2017

Hospitality management is one of the most complex – and most rewarding – leadership careers there is. You’re not only delivering a service, you’re creating exceptional experiences for guests, whether they’re business travelers, moms out for a girls’ weekend or high school students traveling for a band competition.

You are helping guests create memories, and to do that well takes a touch of inspiration. To create that spark, we’ve compiled wisdom from some of the giants in the hospitality industry.

Let’s let these legendary hoteliers speak for themselves; here are 30 inspirational quotes for hospitality management:

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Tags: Hospitality

Why You Should Spend More Time Thinking About Customer Service

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Think about the last great customer service experiences you’ve had and what made them so remarkable: Was it the responsiveness of the staff? Their attention to detail? Their ability to resolve your issue on the first try? 

Now think about your own operation and whether customers – either internal or external – can say the same about their dealings with you. If the answer isn’t a resounding yes!, that’s a sure sign that your customer service needs some more attention.

If you’re wondering whether the investment in upgrading your customer service operation is worth it, consider this: 85 percent of U.S. respondents in a 2010 customer service report said they would pay more to ensure a superior customer experience. And 82 percent of consumers stopped doing business with a company because of a bad customer experience.

The real question, then, may be: Can you afford not to invest in better customer service?  Backed by both research and anecdotes, here are three key reasons why you should spend more time thinking about customer service: 

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Tags: Customer Service

Will Next Generation 911 Meet its 2020 Goals?

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Monday, January 9, 2017

It’s been almost a year since a coalition of national 911 organizations formed with what they called an “aggressive but achievable” goal of transitioning all emergency call systems and call centers to next generation 911 by 2020. In the months since the coalition announced its intentions, progress has been made, but the question still remains: Will next generation 911 meet its 2020 goals?

We don’t have a crystal ball handy to answer that question, but we can offer some insight about what progress has been made recently and how far the experts say there is to go.

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Tags: Public Safety Communications

New Year's Resolutions for a Better School Communications System

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Friday, January 6, 2017

The beginning of another year – and the midway point in most schools’ academic year – is a great time to review your current school communications system and decide how to make it even better.

Too often, school districts and campuses wait for an emergency or disaster to strike either elsewhere or close to home before making communications system improvements. As 2017 begins, now is your chance to get better prepared in case of an emergency and improve the efficiency of your day-to-day operations.   

Here are 5 new year’s resolutions for a better school communications system:

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Tags: Education

New Year's Resolutions To Strengthen Your Command Center

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

As we’re starting a new year, it’s a good time to ask yourself – and your agency: Is our command center stuck in the past? Your center has countless moving parts, all of which need to be properly maintained, serviced and upgraded. But budget concerns, higher-profile priorities and a shortage of resources may mean your upgrades keep getting put on the back burner.

The beginning of a new year offers the opportunity to put your command center front and center. Here are 5 new year’s resolutions to strengthen your command center:

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Tags: Public Safety Communications

Two-Way Radios to Watch in 2017

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Two-way radios are continuing to evolve in exciting ways as more industries and agencies discover their superiority over cell phones – yes, even smartphones – for both everyday use and emergencies. When it comes to durability, reliability and clarity, two-way radios are better than cell phones on all counts.

We’ve had our eye on a few trends for two-way radios over the last year, particularly expanded offerings in terms of size, use cases and even color. So here are some predictions for two-way radios to watch in 2017:

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Tags: Vertex, Digital Two-Way Radios

5 Signs of an Outdated Workforce Management System

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Your legacy workforce management system probably isn’t just one system – it’s a series of disparate solutions that don’t talk to each other, don’t offer real-time updates and, worse yet, actually make it more difficult for staff across your office, plant or warehouse to communicate.

If you’ve just been putting up with your workforce management system’s shortcomings or haven’t shopped around for a while, you may not realize how stuck in the past your plant or office operations have become or what new, economic options are available.

To help decide whether you could use an update, here are 5 signs of an outdated workforce management system.

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Tags: MOTOTRBO, Digital Two-Way Radios, Push to Talk