Anyone working in the field of public safety for any length of time can honestly say it’s a vocation as opposed to a career. It isn’t just a matter of having a career with a future but rather having a career path you are passionate about. In fact, most career professionals in public safety are committed to serving the public in matters of life and death.
Public safety is concerned with numbers from one to infinity. It is all about finding ways to keep the population safe while having the tools necessary to respond to emergencies at the drop of a dime, leaving all else behind for the common good. That’s the primary difference between a job and a vocation – commitment. Also speaking of those numbers, that’s where technology begins playing a key role in public safety!
1. Data Analysis
One of the most important advances in technology that not only makes it possible for public safety to be more efficient but more effective, is Big Data and data analysis. It only takes a quick glance at the key tasks of public safety to understand just how important data analysis is. Consider for a moment the sub-divisions which include:
- National security
- Border management and security
- Justice and law enforcement
- Fraud and corruption detection and prevention
- Cyber security
- Crisis and safety management
Each of these key roles within the field of public safety relies on a statistical analysis of numbers in all areas concerning prevention. The goals of public safety are always forward reaching in that prevention is the key objective. Without technology, those numbers would be inconclusive and still being collected! In other words, data analysis lays the groundwork for risk assessment and response. As you become increasingly proficient in data analysis, you can begin moving up the ranks.
2. Advanced Education
Another area that can help you advance your career in public safety is also a response to the passion you bring to your job each and every day. Technology makes it possible to advance your education online while actively working in the field. You will never need to take a sabbatical just to increase your knowledge and skills. A graduate public safety degree from a renowned team of experts at Wilfrid Laurier University gives you advanced knowledge you will find useful in better serving your community, be it local or global.
Bearing in mind that the ultimate reason you are seeking to advance your career is a passion and commitment to the safety of everyone you serve, remote learning will give you advanced tools with which to do your job increasingly better.
3. Early Warning Technology
Another area of technology that can assist you in public safety is that which makes early warning monitoring and information dissemination possible. For example, if a major snowstorm is forecast to cause power outages and dangerous driving conditions, such things as SMS messaging, online feeds and email warnings make it possible to reach a majority of those affected in mere moments.
Such things as wildfires, chemical spills and other emergencies that threaten the public you serve can, and often do, have grave consequences if warnings aren’t issued timely. In today’s world, few people don’t have access to text messaging or online notifications, so early warning systems are an area of technology that made huge improvements in such things as efficient and timely evacuations and precautions.
4. Real-Time Monitoring
What more can be said about real-time monitoring of everything from weather conditions to cyber attacks to public events turned violent? Real-time monitoring with connected video cameras makes it possible to act on a moment’s notice if the public’s safety is being threatened.
From school shootings to terroristic attacks on public buildings, being able to view and analyse events as they unfold gives public safety professionals the information needed for a timely and effective response suitable for the situation at hand. Learning to use this type of technology in areas currently least served can help you work more efficiently while giving you the tools needed for upward movement in your career.
5. User-Friendly Apps
Another area that can help you advance in your career is in the area of communications. There was a time when the technology used by first responders was largely two-way and amateur band radios. Now, that technology has evolved to mobile communications. Today, any public safety responder who has proficiency in the latest user-friendly emergency response apps can prove valuable as a team leader or emergency manager. In emergency response situations, speed is central to saving lives and mobile communications and app proficiency can be the key tools to make that happen.
6. Collaboration and Networking
In everything from training to collaboration on emergency response drills, technology can again provide the most useful set of tools in use today. If you are seeking to get a graduate public safety degree, then having the ability to collaborate with other public safety officials in other areas can prove beneficial for all involved.
One technology that can have a huge impact on career advancement is videoconferencing platforms. These are often used in the planning stages of emergency response, but they can also be beneficial in assessing the outcome of emergency response drills shared with other professionals who took part in the exercise. Any applicant for the position of emergency manager must have a working knowledge of video conferencing. Remember, there may be times when crisis level events make it impossible to meet with concerned officials, so remote conferencing is the only available option.
Your Key Takeaway
There isn’t one technology mentioned above which shouldn’t be mastered when seeking to advance your career in public safety. From planning to response, and everything in between, technology will form the framework for getting things done timely and efficiently. The bottom line is that if you are truly passionate about the work you do, you will want every tool to help you better serve those you are responsible for. In other words, technology can be the driving force behind both career advancement and efficiency in the work you do.