I recently attended the two-day APCO/NENA Colorado state conference. APCO is the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials. NENA is the National Emergency Number Association. They are the two premier professional 911/Communications based organizations worldwide. There are individual state chapters across the United States, as well as combined APCO/NENA chapters in some states such as Colorado. This Colorado State Conference is the one I recently attended along with 2 other WY employees, Ryan Saffer and Sabreena Bradley.
This years conference did not disappoint. We had a keynote speaker from Germantown Wisconsin, who is a staff Chaplain/Debriefer and has many years of experience being involved in several highly publicized situations such as Sandy Hook shooting, Hurricane Katrina, etc. His primary focus was stress management and making sure people take time for themselves to combat stress.
We also had many breakout sessions over the course of both days. I personally attended classes that included: Management practices, Text to 911, PUC (Public Utilities Commission) updates, Training ideas & practices, and Stress Management in the 911 center.
Along with these awesome training/informational sessions, we had the amazing opportunity to network with many other people involved in all aspects of the 911 world. Attendees included Dispatchers & Call Takers, Supervisors, Manager/Directors, and 911 Authority Board members from across the state. We also had an amazing vendor turnout. These are the folks who provide equipment such as hardware, software, console equipment, chairs, etc. that allow us to do our jobs in the Communications Centers. They also sponsor this conference and are responsible for a large part of covering the costs that come with this type of event. Part of that cost is the renting of a venue to host the conference, as well as the food and drinks involved that are available to the many attendees.
This was just a small part of the training opportunities that I and my staff try to attend every year. Hope this gives you a little insight into who we are here at WY and part of the job that we do for the citizens of Washington and Yuma counties.