Managing schedules in a busy 9-1-1 dispatch center comes with many challenges, and SHASCOM-911 knows them well.
As a consolidated dispatch center providing 9-1-1 and dispatch services for two police departments, a fire department, a Sheriff's office, and EMS providers in Redding, California, it’s vital to public safety that SHASCOM’s processes run smoothly and efficiently. But from juggling shift schedules and time off requests to keeping staff aware of schedule changes, the center struggled to keep up.
To effectively meet the needs of its partners, staff, and community, SHASCOM-911 needed a comprehensive solution to its complex, time- consuming scheduling system.
Looking to software for support
Jessica Larmour, the Administrative Manager at SHASCOM-911, has worked with the department for over 23 years. Her role involves scheduling, training, hiring and recruiting, including managing 8-, 10-, and 12-hour shift schedules for the different roles within the department.
SHASCOM-911 has about 40 employees, each with different training levels and different requirements for daily minimum staffing. This made scheduling a challenge for Jessica, who used spreadsheets to manage personnel. Recognizing that it was only a matter of time before this system failed, she began to research online scheduling software.
Since 9-1-1 communication centers function much differently than the typical 9 to 5 operations, Jessica was concerned that she wouldn’t find a software solution that catered to the nuances and requirements of public safety scheduling. Dispatcher schedules are much more complex because they need functionality for 24/7 coverage, tracking certifications and training, monitoring minimum staffing levels, and scheduling on-call employees.
But when Jessica found PowerTime, formerly called PlanIt, her concerns faded away. The online personnel scheduling system was easy to use and affordable, and it was designed specifically for dispatch, law enforcement, EMS, and fire services. Although many employees at SHASCOM-911 were resistant to change, Jessica believed this was exactly what they needed. And she was right. “I was thankful we tried [PowerTime],” Jessica said. “Because it is intuitive and easy to use, our staff transitioned well into the new system.”
Streamlined features at all levels
Now, more than 4 years after SHASCOM-911 began using the PowerTime software, the center has noticed major advantages for both supervisors and dispatchers.
PowerTime has customizable templates and an automated system for creating shifts to fill vacancies, which help Jessica save time and ensure the center’s minimum requirements are met. The software also includes a time-saving reporting system – a feature Jessica frequently uses to identify open shifts and overtime hours each month.
Staff can even view their schedules through the PowerTime app, which Jessica explained is convenient and easy to use. “Our dispatchers love being able to request time, view their schedules, and bid for overtime from home,” she said. And it didn’t take SHASCOM-911 staff long to learn how to put these tools to good use. “I love how the whole system is intuitive,” Jessica added. “With no official training, you can find what you’re looking for.”
A system of service-minded support
The PowerTime support team and customer service experience have played an important role in SHASCOM-911’s success with the software, too.
“[PowerTime] support has been amazing. The help center alone is great and easy to use,” Jessica said. “Generally, I can find the answer to all my questions there. Occasionally, if I’m not sure how to do something, I [submit] a help ticket and [receive] a [quick] response.”
The PowerTime support team’s open accessibility and commitment to solving customer problems has not only helped SHASCOM-911 work more efficiently, but also helped them adapt to the software more quickly.
“One thing I found exceptional about [PowerTime] was how quickly our agency adapted to it. The PowerTime team made sure the implementation process was simple and easy, even during the initial setup at the very beginning. I sent in our Excel sheet of dispatchers and their assigned shifts, vaguely described how we do business, and [PowerTime] set everything up for us.”
-Jessica Larmour, SHASCOM-911
Better systems for better safety
Both the product features and customer service that PowerTime provides have streamlined SHASCOM-911’s personnel scheduling processes. But smaller features have also made big differences for the team. “I love all the extra things [PowerTime] does as well, such as keeping emergency contacts, tracking certifications, and tracking important employment dates,” Jessica said. These capabilities further support the center’s staffing and training needs, nuances and all.
PowerTime is proud to ensure SHASCOM-911 continues to operate efficiently and effectively so they can provide essential safety services.
Schedule a free demo today.