This past week I attended the APCO Canada 2014 Conference in Vancouver and thoroughly enjoyed it. Of all of the events that I attended this year this one wasn’t the biggest but still I learned lots and made and renewed an number of contacts.
The trade show was a decent size (although much smaller than an IWCE or APCO International show) with all of the major players in the industry represented. The trade show hours were somewhat abbreviated (10 to 2 one day and 9 to1 the next) but this was sufficient for a show of this size and also allowed the schedule to not have scheduled talks overlapping the trade show hours.
The setting for the event was the Fairmont Vancouver Hotel, a classic and luxurious venue that was a pleasure to be at. I was impressed with the food, the service and the technology services seemed to all run very smoothly.
The conference opened with a keynote by Nathan Lee on the tragic events that lead to the avoidable murder of his wife – a very sad story but an important message for everyone involved in the public safety system. There were lots of presentations, I think to satisfy everyone – where a 9-1-1 calltaker/dispatcher, a supervisor/manager or someone involved on the technical side.
Wednesday evening was time for the banquet and an opportunity to recognize award winners in the Canadian Public Safety industry. Events like this make everyone in attendance proud to be a part of this business.
One highlight of the week for me was the opportunity to tour E-Comm. For years I have heard about this facility and operation so it was nice to see it with my own eyes and hear about its history and current operations.
On Thursday morning the annual APCO Canada business meeting was held and officers for the coming year were “elected”. Unfortunately there weren’t new people to step forward but fortunately the existing board members will continue on (albeit in some different roles).
I was pleased to have the opportunity to give a presentation at this event on Thursday morning: “An Introduction to Grade-of-Service for Public Safety Radio Systems”. I thought it went well with about a dozen people in attendance and some good questions and dialogue.
If there was one theme that I detected dominating the conference it was around Next Generation 9-1-1, starting with Text with 9-1-1 and evolving to image and video with 9-1-1 calls. Everyone agrees that it is coming and preparations need to be made starting now.
The conference concluded with an inspirational keynote presentation by Dr. John Izzo where he encouraged all to step up, to take 100% responsibility and make zero excuses. (see more about this talk on my other blog)
So overall, a very well run and useful conference. I look forward to next year’s APCO Canada conference in Niagara Falls.