Hello and welcome to episode 91 of Within the Trenches. I am back from the national NENA conference that was held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. It was an excellent week of networking, learning, presenting and podcasting. In This episode I got the chance to sit down with show regular Rob “Big Mac” McMullen the newly elected 2nd VP of NENA, Ty Wooten, Education Director of NENA and Brian Tegtmeyer, who is an Education Advisory Board Member for NENA. This is an awesome episode! We share everything from the beginning of the conference up until that point of the conference. It’s educational and entertaining.
As always, if you have any questions or would like to be a guest on the show send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Episode topics –
- Funny intro
- Conference events
- Preparing for NENA 2016
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By Ricardo — 2 years ago
Let’s be honest. I’ve been pretty excited since I found out I’d won the Within the Trenches continuing education scholarship. I live in a coastal, college town so summer starts in March. With the weather getting warmer – the calls are getting crazier. This was a good opportunity to step away and reframe things. I left work Friday, June 10 and packed for a flight that left Wilmington around 0700 Saturday morning. The 2016 NENA Conference was held at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis. The conference brought public safety employees and vendors- from telecommunicators to PSAP Directors; IT guys, network architects, and others – together to discuss the state of the industry and technological advancements in the field as well as future trends. Classes were offered in professional development, training, leadership/management, etc. Sunday’s pre-conference class, Cybersecurity in the PSAP, was by far my favorite. It took on different types of cyber threats that occur in today’s society and looked at methods PSAP’s can use to combat threats and keep their networks secure. Sunday night closed out with the Kickoff Celebration. Georgia St got shut down by NENA members and Wally and the Beavs! A food truck is one of my favorite things in the world. There was a diverse selection (I passed up barbecue for a killer Chicago style dog. I heard the OR Pulled Chicken was pretty good too.) It was nice to mingle with the crowd and get to know some faces. I was able to step out of my comfort zone and find some common ground with new people and gain perspective. We talked shop, television (there aren’t enough episodes of The First 48 to satisfy me), and compared how we do things. NextGen9-1-1 was a major focus. The technology that’s involved and the fact that we are soon going to be able to see videos, to add to the texts and voice we have now – it’s pretty impressive to see where things are headed. Keynote speakers included Jake Wood of Team Rubicon, Boston bombing hero Dr. Natalie Stavas, and Chief Rick Lasky, a career firefighter and chief who emphasizes the importance of family in public safety. To say it was inspiring is an understatement. I was able to take in classes to learn tips on how to work towards being a true leader – to lead by example. Stress management and resiliency also seemed to be common themes. It was good to learn some information I could take back for myself and share with my team. I managed to fit in a little fun here and there after classes too: an afternoon run downtown by Indy’s Canal Walk; Motorola’s reception at the Mavis Arts Center; A baseball game after the Young Professional’s mixer at Victory Field; a tour of Indianapolis’ Airport Authority AOC/EOC… the list goes on. One of the cool parts of the week was getting a chance to check out the vendors and exhibitors! Some of the products I use every day, that make my work easier, were on display. I saw some programs I wish I could get my hands on. An adult moment? Completely staring at a certain dispatch console setup: slick monitors, LED lights, stand/raised console and wishing I could have it (there was even a cup holder for my Venti blonde roast) Total furniture envy took over. INdigital’s own Indy car arcade game set up was a hit with members (made me wish I didn’t suck at video games. The Division makes me want to break things in my house). Even though they weren’t in their normal roles, people still stepped up to help others. The events that happened in Orlando occurred; it was heavy. At the blood drive, there was a line of folks waiting to donate blood. A white sign with a simple hashtag greeted those folks: #OrlandoStrong. The people at this conference save lives every day, why were these days any different? Opportunity. The word has presented itself so much lately. I was fortunate to get to attend a conference where I met folks that I aspire to be like. It made me realize how important what we are all out here doing REALLY is. We can have a broad reach if we work hard to educate people on the 911 system. This was my first but definitely won’t be the last. NENA 2017 in San Antonio looks pretty attractive! Here’s to Ricardo and the people at INdigital that made this possible – you’ve paid it forward. Time to keep it going.
To learn more about Leslie please listen to her tell her story on episode 111 of the podcast below.Post Views: 171
By Ricardo — 3 years ago
I am a firm believer that every person we meet, we meet for a reason. Whether it is good or bad, a blessing or a lesson, there is a reason. A few years ago I reached out to someone who would help shape the rest of my career. Although the good deed was small it changed everything and made a big impact on my life.
When I was in the last part of my dispatch career I was working on my Masters in New Media Journalism. At this time I was writing heavily and posting all kinds of personal dispatch stories to my blog. It had become pretty popular with those in the 9-1-1 community as well as the general public. People were learning and I was loving it but I felt like something was missing, I felt like I could do more. As I was riding on the popularity of my written version of Within the Trenches I was introduced to podcasting through an assignment in school. I fell in love with it and started a public safety series doing stories with dispatch, police and EMS.
From there I decided to turn my written segment into a podcast but it was going to take a little help from Kickstarter. My goal for this Kickstarter campaign was $1,500. It would pay for equipment, hosting and more. I was going strong with $606 early on but my campaign stalled and I was sure I would not make it. I had 36 hours left and I was freaking out. I was reading some 9-1-1 industry news at 9-1-1 Dispatch Magazine Online and decided I would reach out to the editor for help. I told Gary Allen that I wasn’t looking for money from him. All I wanted was help getting the word out on my project. Later on that day I received a response from him saying that he loved the idea of a dispatch podcast and telling dispatch stories. He wrote up a small blurb on what I was doing and also reached out to some industry partners. In 24 hours I surpassed my campaign goal.
I can safely say that if it wasn’t for Gary’s help I probably would not have made it. On top of that I recently found out that one of the industry partners he reached out to was my now boss and founder of INdigital, a public safety solutions company. I thought my boss simply found me by the article that Gary put out but Gary reached out to him. It’s awesome how things work out sometimes. Sadly, Gary recently passed away. He had 40 years of public safety background and my only regret is not having more of an opportunity to have him on the podcast to tell his complete story. I did get a chance to have him on an episode with me and it is included within this episode. We were experimenting with Google+ Hangouts Live so the audio sounds a little different but it is a good one nonetheless. Also towards the end there is about a minutes worth of music. The show doesn’t end though, I was showing Gary a video and all you can hear is the music. So just in case you listen and wonder what is going on. Below you will find a link to the video version of episode 45 with Gary Allen. I hope you enjoy the episode and please share it.
As always if you have any questions or you would like to be a guest on the show you can email me at email@example.com
I will be forever grateful to you. Your help made a huge impact on my life. I hope I am able to leave a mark on this industry the way you did. Godspeed my friend.
RicardoPost Views: 208
By Ricardo — 8 months ago
See…I could sing a song, write an angry letter or I could send a blanket tweet, but I’m not going to do that. Instead I am going to acknowledge the bigger picture here, which are the 9-1-1 call takers and dispatchers. Now, this isn’t the first time you were denied a reclassification. People fought for this and instead of waiting on the sidelines, many of you took this fight into your own hands by joining a grassroots movement to prove the difference between clerical and protective. You poured your hearts out by sharing your stories and once you did, there was no stopping it.
The Thin Gold Line joined forces for a common goal, to show the world what you do on a daily basis. Word spread of your heart wrenching stories. Others in public safety acknowledged your importance, callers shared their stories by thanking you for your help and those in different countries joined in solidarity by sharing their own stories. You opened the eyes of millions and although you were denied again, you gained respect and recognition your way. That my friends, is something to be proud of. I don’t see today’s decision as a failure or a loss. I see it as a win because your stories made a difference. Your stories have turned the news media around from showing bad stories to recognizing what you do, what it is like in dispatch and the stress and emotional weight it includes. We know how hard this job is and now…they do too.
Although I am upset with the response regarding the reclassification issue I am damn proud of the Thin Gold Line. Your stories reached out and let others know that they are not alone. We have healed and experienced a little closure and your stories will continue to reach a bigger audience. Thank you to those who supported us since day one, to those who have shared stories and those who continue to share. The movement continues…
#IAM911Post Views: 238