Magazine / Emergency & Crisis Management Jul 18, 2022 9:30:00 AM

Remote training for PSAP call takers: why it works

2020 revolutionized the way we communicate and work: the lockdowns advanced the adoption of new technologies, accelerating the digital transformation process. This change has affected almost all sectors, including Public Safety.

In the latter, new systems have been introduced to carry out training and remote learning operations in emergency Public Safety Answering Points.

Public Safety Answering Points: remote learning for call takers

The training of PSAP personnel has a huge impact on citizen safety. Inadequate training can lead to serious consequences for people's lives, as well as distrust of the entire response system.

Historically, the training of emergency PSAP operators (EMS/ FIRE / LAW) took place in the classroom. The lessons were on-site, with a theoretical part based on a user manual and a practical part on how to answer calls and enter data on Emergency Management platforms.

Remote training changed the educational paradigm:

  • Lessons are no longer in the classroom but can be done from anywhere, all you need is a PC and a stable Internet connection.

  • On site lessons, where a teacher speaks and pupils listen, is replaced by a conversation between the participants, with interventions and focus on real case scenarios.

  • The technological element becomes key. Participants can test the notions in real time, using demo environments and interactive tools.

This has multiple benefits:

  • Flexibility: no longer being bound to a physical space facilitates and increases participation.

  • Cost reduction: it is no longer necessary to organize multiple sessions to reconcile various needs.

  • Tutorials: Thanks to individual demo environments, staff can quickly learn how the system works.

  • On demand: lessons can be recorded and watched on demand, to clarify any doubts and perplexities.

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    International remote training: North Macedonia’s 112 PSAP

    Remote training can overcome the geographical and logistic barriers. Proof of this is the 112 project in North Macedonia, carried out by Beta 80 Group in 2020.

    In 2020 we participated in the setup of the National Emergency 112 service in North Macedonia. After Lithuania, Albania, and Holland, North Macedonia is, in addition to Italy, our fourth European country with Public Safety projects.

    The project, in addition to the European Emergency Number 112, included the setup of a network of PSAPs and technologies for Medical Emergency Services, Fire Brigades, Police Forces, and Civil Protection, with a total of 78 PSAP spread throughout the territory. The new 112 services, built ground-up, revolutionized the pre-existing system, both in the processes and in the technologies.

    Such a complex project included the training of many different operators and managers, distributed over various PSAPs and territories. The original plan was to carry out classic training, with a schedule of face-to-face lessons. The events of recent years, however, led to a revision of the educational model.

    Thus, in agreement with the customer, we opted for hybrid training.

    This innovative training method has proved successful for:

    1. 112 of North Macedonia, with reduced time and costs and increased their participation in the classes.

    2. The Beta 80 Group Team, who established a constructive dialogue with all the participants, optimizing the learning process through the aid of graphic and interactive tools, accessible to all from their PC.

    Before the actual training, we had an important study and testing phase to understand and develop the new technological solutions and tools needed to carry out remote learning.

    Finally, thanks to an innovative demo environment, students could immediately put the instructions into practice, following the examples and information given by the trainer. The adoption of new cutting-edge tools improved performance and guaranteed high-quality training, which satisfied both operators and teachers.

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