Three PSAP and Public Safety Priorities to Consider When Choosing Interpretation Services

Oct 4, 2017

If your PSAP uses interpretation services, are their operations tailored to target your top priorities?

 9-1-1 call takers need to know the call classification and location – accurately – within seconds. They need their systems, and those of their vendors, to stay online when disasters hit. And PSAP managers need effective client support to make implementing interpreter services and tracking utilization fast and convenient. Here are three characteristics of interpretation providers equipped to meet PSAP priorities:

1. Accurate Call Classification and Location Require Professional, Certified Interpreters

Not all interpretation services providers train and certify their interpreters to handle 9-1-1 calls. Interpreter errors relaying symptoms and addresses have delayed response times and led to injuries, deaths, and lawsuits that may have been avoidable with adequate interpreter training.

Some vendors can’t do this because they rely mostly on independent contractors, and it’s unlawful for a US company to train its independent contractors. Others provide web-based training only, guaranteeing that their interpreters clicked through the training slides, but not that they learned anything.

Calls to Voiance are handled in large-scale US contact centers where we provide employee interpreters with 120 hours of on-site, in-person, interactive classroom training, ending in oral and written testing and certification. Our dedicated 9-1-1 training module includes:

  • Basics of Emergency Police Dispatch 
  • Obtaining emergency location fast
  • Interpreting pre-arrival instructions such as CPR
  • Matching dispatcher’s urgency and tone
  • Speaking with children
  • Basic law enforcement vocabulary

2. Being Available When Disasters Strike Demands Reliable, Redundant Infrastructure

A natural disaster or infrastructure outage will likely increase your PSAP call volume, so it’s vital that your interpretation provider’s services stay online. This requires reliable, redundant infrastructure so that an outage in one area of the country doesn’t take down service nationwide.

Our network of large-scale US interpreter contact centers offers reliability through geographic diversity. We have the ability to shift calls to unaffected centers, should a regional disaster impact service.

Voiance relies on data center and communication platform focuses on business continuity and system redundancy. We provide 99.999% system availability and a fault-tolerant telephone and networking system with no single point of failure. We utilize a documented Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plan (DRP-BCP). We also partner with multiple telephone service providers to prevent a carrier outage from interrupting service.

3. Using Multilingual Support Efficiently Depends on Comprehensive Client Support

Getting the most utility out of your interpreter services requires a vendor committed to your success at every stage in the process. Ask potential providers whether they provide implementation and training support to bring their service online quickly and teach your call takers how to use it. Do they offer a dedicated account manager to help you optimize your use of the service and answer your questions? Can they provide easy access to data on how much you use the service, in what languages and at what times?

At Voiance, we provide implementation specialists to assist in setting your desired call flow and priority language selection. Our implementation team has helped hundreds of PSAP clients make a successful switch to Voiance.

We assign a dedicated 9-1-1/public safety account manager to assist with implementation and training. Your account manager will:

  • Provide quarterly reviews of your utilization
  • Offer as-needed direct support
  • Address feedback
  • Work to enhance the value of Voiance services

Finally, Voiance provides 24/7 near-real-time access to your PSAP’s usage data through our online account management portal. Reporting includes customizable, ad hoc views tailored to your needs, such as utilization by language, timeframe, and location. Calendar views outline weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly data to assist in forecasting.

Now that you understand how much multilingual support should be tailored to align with PSAP and public safety priorities, download our ebook to learn more about how 9-1-1 interpretation should be.

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Topics: Advice and Improvement, Best Practices, Insider, Language Services, Over-the-Phone Interpretation

Written by Graham Newnum