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Ritz: Berwyn Police Department achieves total response accreditation

Community Voice

Published: Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013 1:48 p.m. CDT

On Aug. 6, our Berwyn Emergency Communications Center completed the PowerPhone quality assurance program to successfully achieve Total Response Accreditation. This means that our 911 Telecommunications Unit is the first dispatch center in Illinois to meet emergency medical dispatch quality improvement standards. 

This important designation for our 911 center serves as a mark of excellence in the emergency communications industry. The Berwyn Emergency Communications Center undertook a dynamic process to identify best practices and promote high quality performance measures. Through this process, they have validated their commitment to quality and accountability in emergency call handling in order to enhance our E911 services to the community.

Following adoption of and training in PowerPhone’s Total Response emergency medical dispatch (EMD) protocols, Berwyn Emergency Communications personnel committed to a formal accreditation process as part of their ongoing adherence to providing the highest standard of care in the police/fire dispatch industry.

Our communications center began with a self-evaluation of their call handling and dispatch function to help establish benchmarks against which future operations could be compared. With the help of Mike Jones, PowerPhone’s client services manager and public safety veteran, the Berwyn Emergency Communications Center was able to define the quality assurance standards they wanted to meet and specifically adopt an action plan to adhere to these standards.

During this process, the communications center has had a percentage of the calls they answered and received randomly reviewed for protocol compliance. The Berwyn Telecommunications team has undertaken rigorous documentation of their goals, policies and procedures and stakeholder involvement throughout this accreditation process. The dispatchers have also participated in intense quality assurance training in order to obtain the tools and techniques to enhance their strengths, remedy shortcomings and learn to confront future challenges of emergency medical dispatch.

The Berwyn Emergency Communications Center was recognized for their accomplishments at the 30th annual National Night Out on Aug. 6. The accreditation presentation included the unveiling of a special banner and official certificate, as well as a pinning ceremony presented by members of PowerPhone to the telecommunicators and supervisors of the 911 Center.  

This was a tremendous accomplishment for our Emergency Telecommunications Unit and as a community we are all very proud.  

Police Chief Jim Ritz

Fire Chief Dennis O’Halloran

911 Administrator Curtis Nekovar

Mike Jones, Powerphone

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