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Our team at PowerPhone is comprised of professionals from the public safety world. We have served as telecommunicators, PSAP supervisors, administrators, and on-scene responders. Many of us have used the Total Response software in our centers.

As a former 911 dispatcher, supervisor, and administrator, I came here with my own experience using Total Response. At my last agency, I knew that we could customize the protocols, change the security risk level, and add documents to knowledge-base articles. But, as I embarked on my new role at PowerPhone, I was able to take a deeper look at the many ways Total Response works with the unique needs of an agency.

Here are just a few examples of how versatile Total Response truly is.

1. Taking Tailored Protocols to the Next Level

Many agencies don’t realize to the extent they can customize the protocols in Total Response to meet individual agency needs. With our current process, we focus on a full adoption of Total Response. This includes initial configuration meetings, end-user training, and a Go Live launch. Collaboration and conversations with the end-users (your telecommunicators) are key in implementing and tailoring these protocols.

It is truly a team effort. We welcome the agency’s input and rely on the telecommunicators to weigh in on their needs as emergency response professionals. For example, with one of our newest customers in Virginia, we realized they needed a protocol for medical helicopter requests. This came up during the end-user training and discussions with the telecommunicators. We were able to create this protocol to ensure their agency was ready for this situation.

Does your agency have unique protocols? Take a look at how we worked with a rural community to tailor their protocols to meet the specific needs of their agency.

2. The Emergence of 988

With the roll out of 988 last year, our Implementation Managers have been making customizations within the protocols to help agencies adhere to The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline guidelines for mental health crises.

Did you know that the Response Advisor in Total Response can not only recommend EMS, Fire, and/or Police responses, but responder types for 988 as well? We’re seeing more and more agencies add this responder type within our Response Advisor to their protocols. Our software can help your agency meet these mental health crises requirements.

The more comfortable new hires feel about using Total Response, the greater the benefits for them and for the entire call center.

3. Knowledge is Power

Another great way to use Total Response to its fullest potential is by accessing the Knowledge Base Articles. Knowledge Base Articles (KBAs) are static articles within Total Response designed to enhance a specific part of that protocol as call takers enter the information of the incident. Agencies can customize these KBAs to incorporate their local policies.

Agencies can also add agency SOPs within the KBAs and create pathways to shared folders and necessary websites. For agencies that need to keep a close eye on weather patterns, the IM can work with the agency to add a link to the weather service of their choice, and even show an agency how to do it on their own. In addition, pathways to live documents used by agencies for afterhours, call outs, or used for special circumstances can be created.

The security indicator in Total Response also gives agencies the ability to change the risk level during different times of the year for special events that occur in town, thus triggering additional questions created specifically for these events.

4. Adoption of a Powerful Tool

As part of my training at PowerPhone, I sat in on end-user training with call takers who would be using this tool daily. With more information at their fingertips, a flexible script for guidance during the most stressful of calls, and the ability to tailor their protocols, these telecommunicators were engaged and excited. As we walked through our newest integrations with PulsePoint and What3Words, the team saw how they could better locate a caller or provide directions to life-saving resources. With a tool like Total Response, we’re giving a PSAP the ability to dispatch smarter, faster, and safer.

Total Response is not just PowerPhone’s product. It can be your agency’s unique system, tailored to how you want it, based on your community’s needs.

Connect with us to see how Total Response can support you today!

About the Author

Adriana “Andi” Sorge has over 20 years of experience in a 911 call center located in northeast Tennessee. She began as a dispatcher working her way up the ranks to Communications Supervisor. Prior to that, she worked as an EMT for a private ambulance service and as a part time dispatcher. Adriana is a member of our Customer Success team, supporting PowerPhone clients nationwide.