June 4, 2020 by Flynn Nogueira

Taking Control of Abandoned Calls

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Industries: 9-1-1 & Law Enforcement

Topics: Command Center Software NG9-1-1 PSAPs Public Safety Applications

How the City of Baltimore Takes Control of Abandoned Calls and Enhances 9-1-1 Operations

Building trust with citizens is of critical importance when it comes to the city of Baltimore’s 9-1-1 communications, per Scott Brillman. Scott is the City’s 9-1-1 Director and Captain with the Baltimore City Fire Department, Maryland, which serves the community per its motto, “Pride Protecting People.” It is this pride that motivates Scott and other 9-1-1 stakeholders to be searching for ways to improve the level of 9-1-1 service. When it comes to abandoned calls, a problem for many PSAPs, they found the solution–Automated Abandoned Callback (AAC), a feature of the VESTA® 9-1-1 call handling system from Motorola Solutions.

“Seconds count when there’s an emergency–one minute can seem like a lifetime, so it’s important our citizens be able to connect to us immediately. If they call and hang up, our 9-1-1 system automates the callback, ringing their phones and allowing them to connect to us. Before, they would have to wait until we got through with calls to make those callbacks.” 

Now, with AAC, citizens get a faster service in communicating their emergency, or to indicate no help is needed to clear the lines for those who do need help. Either way, AAC reinforces the trust the City works hard to build.

Baltimore is home to nearly 600,000 citizens, who make 1.4 million 9-1-1 calls per year. As call volumes rise, Scott acknowledges many will be the result of misdials or pocket dials, due to growing dependence on mobile and wearable devices. “When that happens, that call is taking the place of a real emergency, and AAC helps triage that. It helps us get to the true emergency calls and focus on folks that really need our help.” 

The City has been using AAC for almost a year. Scott says its automatic nature left “little to do” on their part from the start. He estimates its use has reduced the number of callbacks by half. The feedback from citizens, who no longer complain about callbacks, and the benefits for Baltimore’s 911 Specialists, who’ve increased their effectiveness while relieving some of their burden, speak volumes. 

From day one, we saw results. We noticed that our 911 Specialists are able to remain available to take emergency calls and didn’t have to constantly call people back. When we can reduce the workload for the 9-1-1 Specialists, who have one of the most stressful jobs in the world, that’s something.”

Motorola Solutions is committed to adapting and improving technology to support PSAPs’ changing needs. Learn more about AAC and how other agencies are tackling the issue of abandoned calls.

Visit our website for more information on Motorola Solutions call handling.

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