Think Tank Sessions

Baltimore Convention Center, Ballroom Foyer, Level 400

These short, 30-minute educational sessions will be set in a relaxed environment where attendees can exchange ideas and experiences. Please note no CEU credits will be offered for these sessions. No separate registration required but space is limited and not guaranteed.

Sunday, August 11
8:45 a.m. -9:15 a.m. Pushing the Mower and Dumping the Baggage
Presenter: Captain Jeremy Hill, Amarillo 911 Manager

PSAP and Dispatch Centers can be breeding grounds for burnout, PTSD, low job satisfaction, high employee turnover, poor morale and limited qualified applicants.  Be prepared to have decades of status quo and complacency challenged as this session drills down to the square roots causing this occupational cancer and provides proven measures used to treat and combat this disease plaguing some comm centers.
12:00 p.m. -12:30 p.m. The Future of Women in Emergency Communications
Presenter: Karima Holmes, Director, Office of Unified Communications

This session is geared toward helping women in the industry who are motivated to lead. The discussion will help attendees understand the value of creating a personal vision statement, setting realistic goals to chart a satisfying career path, recognizing and making the most of any opportunity, seeing the value in unconventional experiences and learning about how the willingness to step outside your comfort zone can help you achieve your long-term goals. Participants will get real insight and learn the secrets to success of professionals who are at the forefront of helping to chart the path and evolving the industry to the next generation environment.
12:45 p.m. -1:15 p.m. Discover the Leader in You
Presenters: Steve M. Edwards, PhD. and Timothy Scanlon, Ed.D.

As the field of public safety communications faces the challenges of the future, now more than ever we need leaders with a vision for moving forward and the ability to navigate the interesting times we face.  In this talk, we will explore how aspiring leaders can take stock of where they are with their professional development and how to chart a path for continued growth.  The talk will look at APCO’s Certified Public-Safety Executive program and what it offers to those ready to move to the next level in their careers.
Monday, August 12
2:00 p.m. -2:30 p.m.
Inspire to Motivate: Tools to Think Outside The Box
Presenter: Danielle Ferguson, Supervisor Williamson County 9-1-1
We “think outside the box” every day we dispatch, but how often do we practice this with our staff or ourselves as leaders? This presentation is a discussion on ways to renew your veteran employees’ outlook on their place in your center, how to challenge your new employees to keep their interest and how to inspire leadership to keep the momentum going.
Tuesday, August 13
2:00 p.m. -2:30 p.m. Stress Exposure Training: Resiliency Is Learned 
Presenter: Holly Downs, Training Coordinator, Salt Lake Valley Emergency Communications Center

Experts warn that our current culture is fostering anxiety rather than resilience in our workforce and rising generations. This lack of resilience is evident in resumes riddled with job hopping.  Our limited budgets and precious monies are spent recruiting, hiring and training employees only to have them leave months later. The need for resiliency and staff confident in their ability to grow and progress are more critical now than ever before. This course will provide practical strategies.  Resilient living is happier living. We can be better, faster and stronger!
Wednesday, August 14
8:15 a.m. -8:45 a.m. Mentoring: It’s All About the People
Presenter: Barry Furey, CEO, Barry Furey Consulting

While we typically focus on the technology that is bringing us the next generation of 9-1-1, it’s important not to lose sight of the people who will be responsible for steering our course to the future. Now, more than ever before, it is important to mentor our next generation of leaders in order to prepare them for the challenges ahead.  Change can be scary, but it is also inevitable – and it does not wait for the ill-prepared. Find out how to pay your experience forward and get meaningful results based upon lessons learned by the presenter during his almost one-half century of public safety service.
1:45 p.m. -2:15 p.m. Stress Management and PTSD Risk in Telecommunicators
Presenter: Nicholas Greco, C3 Education and Research Inc.

A common misconception is that first responders and dispatchers have more resiliency than the general population when it comes to traumatic events. PTSD has a strong biological basis, and we will break down the similarities and differences between first responders who deal with traumatic events and dispatchers who, while removed from seeing the actual event, are impacted by not being able to see, touch and have direct face-to-face contact with the victim. We will explore the risks of PTSD, vicarious trauma and secondary trauma. We will also discuss how agencies can help reduce the risk of stress and trauma.