Acronyms are created to make our lives and our jobs a little bit easier. However, at the EOD (End of Day), do you ever feel like IDK (I Don’t Know) all the acronyms that were just used and you spend a lot of time searching the internet to learn them? OMG (Oh My Gosh), don’t worry we are not LOLing (laughing out loud) at you!
Many industries routinely use their own sets of acronyms daily in the course of their regular business operations to streamline written and oral communications. Our PSN team thought back to our first days on the job with our first public safety agencies and organizations and remembered feeling as though we only understood half of some conversations and barely half of the rest. For our technology clients interested in or newly working directly with public safety agencies, it’s important to quickly learn some key acronyms for a few reasons: 1) expediency – so you don’t have to stop every conversation to ask what all of the acronyms mean, 2) understanding – doing your research conveys to public safety your genuine interest in what they do and how they work, and 3) relationship building – you will succeed in meeting baseline expectations and building trust and respect in demonstrating your proficiency as you continue to enhance your work engagements and meetings.
To help with the TMA (Too Many Acronyms) feeling, below is a short list of acronym resources to get you started. You can peruse and reference these lists in the future as needed to brush up on public safety acronyms until they become a part of your regular dialogue. Depending on your learning style, write them up on flash cards (or record them as voice memos) and run through them when you have free moments during your day.
In addition to public safety operational acronyms, you’ll find that national/international, state and local public safety associations often are referred to by their acronyms, as are many associated tradeshows and conferences. And of course, federal agencies and programs come with their own voluminous acronym lists.
If your teams will be working directly with public safety agencies, we recommend developing your own list of internal and public safety acronyms to share with employees during onboarding and keep them updated and available for them to reference thereafter. Acronyms are useful in making communications more efficient, and decreasing the learning curve to assimilate them all goes a long way in enhancing your business relationships within the public safety community.