Technology in Action

The Trevor Project logo color [Converted]While most of my posts on this blog center around Public Safety Communications, my interest in technology isn’t limited by industry or career. Several non-profit organizations are taking the lead in developing technology strategies to improve their communications, provide wider access to services they provide, and educate the population at large.

One of these organizations is The Trevor Project. As stated on their website, “The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth.”

The Trevor Project has several operational services, the most critical of which is the 24/7 call centers devoted to answering calls from youth and young adults in crisis or considering suicide. The Trevor Project also offers programs devoted to answering letters that are not critical in nature on topics ranging from sexual orientation to battling depression. Live chats are held on certain days of the week in order to reach as many people as possible who may not be able to call the Trevor Lifeline. They have built and operate a social network for LGBTQ youth and young adults to provide a safe place to communicate with peers. They create and present workshops throughout the year to educate youth, schools, civic organizations and beyond on the issue related to LGBTQ suicide.

Earlier this month, The Trevor Project announced that they are developing a platform to allow youth and young adults in need to send text messages. This could help alleviate the stress associated with dialing the call center as it would allow users with a cell phone to communicate with a trained volunteer wherever they are located. Making a call to a call center is a big step, and while the services is exceptional, not every young person has the ability to be alone in order to talk to a counselor or volunteer. Texting makes sense, and could save lives.imagesCAOM7NB4

The Trevor Project is committed to serving young people and saving lives, they are also committed to developing processes that make it easier for those in need to reach out.

Check out The Trevor Project’s home page, they are an amazing organization that is taking the lead through technology and laying the ground work for the future of non-profit service related organizations.

Also, if you work in non-profits, what other types of technology are you using to reach your target audience and provide the services you offer? Feel free to share in the comments section, I look forward to hearing from you.

Disclaimer: I fully support the work that The Trevor Project is doing and I am an active volunteer.

Disclaimer: The content of this blog and any opinions, observations, or ideas are mine and not associated in any way with my employer, The Reedy Creek Improvement District.

Trials and Tribulations

trials-and-tribulationsThe reality of Text to 9-1-1 is rapidly approaching. The following link is a good article highlighting the upcoming trial organized by AT&T and the State of Tennessee. Selected 9-1-1 centers will receive text to 9-1-1 in a testing phase.

http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2013/feb/17/text-to-911-trial-coming-to-tennessee/

As everyone else, I am interesting in seeing the data that comes after the trials, but I am also very interested in the process as well. How are the centers judging staffing needs, job assignments, etc. during this process? Will the data be available for widespread comment and review?

The technology aspect is always at the forefront, but I am an advocate for preparation on the front lines. Now is the time to begin preparing call-takers for the increased demands and improving their skills in order to make this transition as seamless as possible.

If you or your agency know of any training resources available for preparing the operation personnel for text to 9-1-1, please feel free to share with me in the comments section.

Disclaimer: The content of this blog and any opinions, observations, or ideas are mine and not associated in any way with my employer, The Reedy Creek Improvement District.