Minneapolis to host national public safety communication conference
As many as 5,000 attendees and more than 250 exhibitors from around the world will be at Minneapolis Convention Center Aug. 12 – 22 for the 78th annual conference of the International Association of Public Safety Communications Officers.
The conference, which is the public safety communication industry’s largest event of the year, is being hosted by Minneapolis 911 along with the Minnesota Chapter of the Association of Public Safety Communications Officers (APCO). Throughout the conference, Minneapolis 911 staff will be on hand at the Convention Center serving as volunteer ambassadors.
The Minneapolis Emergency Communications Center will be the site of one of the conference’s dispatch center tours. During the tours, City staff will showcase Minneapolis’ new First Watch Real-Time Early Warning System as well as other tools and technologies. First Watch is a system that scans the Computer-Assisted-Dispatch system looking for events that could escalate or indicate an emerging public safety problem.
Tours will also showcase Minneapolis’ ShotSpotter system and Bait Vehicle program. Minneapolis 911 professionals monitor ShotSpotter, a state-of-the-art gunshot detection system that provides information about possible gunfire in selected areas of the city. The 911 staff also monitors a Bait Vehicle system that is part of the City's comprehensive auto theft program. Emergency Communications staff members work with the police to remotely disable bait vehicles as soon as police are in position to apprehend suspects, eliminating concerns of dangerous vehicle chases during these apprehensions.
The conference will also offer a number of technical, administrative and operational seminars designed to share best practices in emergency services delivery. Some of the conference topics include: dealing with the stress of handling critical incidents, protecting data security, dealing with suicidal callers, preparing for disasters, and understanding how new applications and devices are changing 911 operations.
At an Aug. 20 conference reception event, Minneapolis 911 Operator Lori Patrick and 9-year-old Rodrigo Sosa will receive a “911 Hero” award from 911 For Kids. Patrick is a 17-year veteran of Minneapolis 911. Sosa called 911 on May 5 to request an ambulance for his baby sister who was unconscious from a prolonged seizure. Sosa was very composed during the call and together he, Patrick and the EMS Team were able to quickly assess the situation and send the ambulance.
Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, who serves as co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Next Generation 9-1-1 caucus, will address conference attendees at its closing luncheon on Aug. 22.
Minneapolis 911 answers more than 590,000 calls for service and dispatches more than 300,000 police calls and 40,000 fire and emergency medical calls.
Published Jul. 31, 2012