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Contact:  Courtney McCarron

August 24, 2005, Denver, CO - The Association of Public-Safety
Communications Officials (APCO) International released yesterday  the
Project RETAINS study on communications center staffing.  The APCO
International Project RETAINS (Responsive Efforts To Address Integral Needs
In Staffing) tool kit was released at the APCO International 71st Annual
Conference and Exposition in Denver, Colo.

The 9-1-1 call takers and law enforcement, fire-rescue and emergency
medical service (EMS) dispatchers and their supervisors are the nation's
first of the First Responders and among the most unsung of the nation's
unsung public safety heroes.  Everyday across America, personnel in public
safety communications centers, staffed with as few as two and as many as
more then 100, stand ready to assist citizens in their time of emergency.
More then 300,000 times a day, citizens call 9-1-1 and are dealt with by
communications center personnel.  This profession has historically been one
that experiences high personnel turnover rates and frequent vacancies.

"This often life-saving work is wonderfully rewarding, but carries with it
the awesome responsibility of making split-second decisions in a time-
error-free environment, while being empathic to citizens that are often in
highly emotional, life threatening and distraught situations," APCO
International President Greg Ballentine said.  

The APCO International Project RETAINS tool kit is the product of the most
extensive, in-depth research ever conducted of the issues impacting the
recruitment, hiring, processing, training and retention of personnel in
9-1-1 public safety communications centers.  The tools are designed to
assist communications center managers, human resource and management and
budget department personnel, police chiefs, sheriffs, fire chiefs and
elected officials, in addressing the challenges associated with hiring and
retaining qualified personnel for this vitally important position.

"On behalf of the APCO Project RETAINS Team and the staff of the University
of Denver/Denver Research Institute, it has been our privilege and honor to
address this issue," APCO International Project RETAINS Chair Steve Souder
said.  "We did so with a high sense of commitment to our 9-1-1 public
safety communications colleagues, the agencies and jurisdictions in which
they work, and the citizens they serve."

About APCO International

The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials International,
Inc. is the world's oldest and largest professional organization dedicated
to the enhancement of public safety communications.  APCO serves the
professional needs of its 14,000 members worldwide by creating a platform
for setting professional standards, addressing professional issues and
providing education, products and services for people who manage, operate,
maintain and supply the communications systems used by police, fire and
emergency medical dispatch agencies throughout the world.  For more
information, visit www.apcointl.org.

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