Standard for the Establishment of a Quality Assurance and Quality Improvement Program for Public Safety Answering Points
||ANSI Accredited Standard
||APCO/NENA ANS 1.107.1-‐2015
The duties and responsibilities of those who serve our communities by accepting and processing emergency calls from the public have grown exponentially over recent years. The industry, as a whole, is challenged by the type and nature of the calls received. Factors that affect the quality of service received are the heavy workload, constant changes within the PSAP, changes in technology, as well as customer expectations. Additionally, there is a lack of standardized methods to provide quality assurance and effective feedback to the telecommunicator. The heavy workload coupled in many cases with the constant change of the environment, technology and customer expectations and the lack of standardized methods to evaluate service delivery. Critical focus must be maintained to ensure a high standard of performance is delivered each and every time through phone calls and radio transmissions.
In January of 2008, Denise Amber Lee, a young wife and mother of two small boys, tragically lost her life after reaching out for help. During her abduction Denise was able to grab her killer’s cell phone and dial 9-1-1 without his knowledge. The call lasted 6 ½ minutes with Denise giving the call taker valuable information and answering the call taker’s questions while pretending to talk to her killer. Unfortunately, her location could not be determined. Denise was not the only one to call for help or report an unusual circumstance that day. A driver in a car next to the abduction called 9-1-1 to report a woman screaming and banging on the window of her abductor’s car. Even though this citizen hero’s call lasted for 9 minutes, describing cross streets as she drove on and the fact that there were at least 3 police cars within a mile of her location, no one ever dispatched the call.
This standard is an attempt to establish a long overdue quality assurance and improvement process to all of America’s 9-1-1 telecommunicators to ensure call taking and radio dispatch actions are delivered at the highest possible standard. A frantic mother’s plea for help should be handled the same in California as it is in Florida, Ohio, Colorado or New York. This Quality Assurance standard was developed to ensure continued telecommunicator excellence. All of the training in the world is useless if the professional telecommunicator isn’t being continuously monitored and reinforced for proper procedures.