Assistant director Chan McCall and I recently had the opportunity to attend the Navigator Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Navigator is a conference provided by IAED (International Academies of Emergency Dispatch). They provide training and protocols for emergency police (EPD), fire (EFD) and medical (EMD) dispatch. The employees at WY are EMD (emergency medical dispatch) certified through the IAED, and have been since April of 2000.
They provided us with three very full days of training. We had the opportunity to attend training sessions covering topics which included:
- Active shooter training for dispatchers,
- Stress management,
- Hiring and training tips and tricks,
- Customer service,
- Text to 911,
- Quality assurance,
- Public education/relations,
- Missing children/persons,
- Wildfire dispatch training, and
- Bettering workplace environments.
We also had the chance to sit in on a couple different sessions involving the dispatchers and fire/EMS responders who were directly involved in the active shooter situation back in October of 2017 at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival. The call itself went about as well as it could have. However, there is always something to learn from a situation such as that. Their testimonies were nothing short of amazing, and it was interesting to learn what worked, what didn’t, and how they have changed things since then.
On top of all that, we were treated to a couple of tours to local dispatch centers. We toured Las Vegas Fire Dispatch as well as Henderson Fire Dispatch (Henderson is a suburb of Las Vegas).
Also, we had the opportunity to attend a vendor show that was held throughout our conference. These are the folks who provide service and/or equipment to 911 centers around the world, some of whom we work directly with here at WY. The conference also allowed us the chance to network with people we already know but also with others who are “in the business” from other communities around our state as well as nationally and internationally.
Overall it was an AMAZING experience and conference! We are very fortunate to be able to attend these types of training opportunities, as well as others which are closer to home. Seeing and attending these types of events on a much larger scale gives us not only a different perspective, but also access to classes and trainers that we might not otherwise get to see and experience in our little piece of the world.