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Navigator Conference Provided A Myriad of Training Opportunities for Dispatchers and EMDs

Date: 2012-05-23
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Taking the Challenge” was the theme behind this year’s Navigator conference, held last month at the Marriott Waterfront Hotel in Baltimore, MD. From a record number of pre-conference attendees (282), educational tracks (15), individual sessions (91), and formal conference attendees (1,247) from all over the globe (13 countries), the fourth decade of emergency dispatch appears ready to scale future challenges brought on by technology and inevitable chieftains of change. Challenge will stay the constant.

National Academies of Emergency Dispatch® (NAED™) Co-founder Jeff Clawson, M.D., finds challenge in maintaining and continuing the high levels of practicing emergency dispatch.  "We have a unified set of protocols, widespread throughout the world and, in many places, institutionalized,” Dr. Clawson said amid a brief Q&A during NAED President Scott Freitag’s opening day Navigator presentation. “The protocols are a self-sustaining, perpetual motion system and, to me, our greatest challenge is maintaining a process that can be refined and, at the same time, continue to succeed. We have to dedicate ourselves to maintaining that interest and passion.”

There are also the challenges of technology, limited budgets, center consolidation, and a globally connected world. The International Academies of Emergency Dispatch® (IAED™) has to take into consideration cultural and language differences, geographical distances, cultural dictates, local governments, and the response system configuration. Part of the distance solution has been solved through the addition of five Navigator conferences outside of the United States.

“That’s what Navigator is all about,” said Conference Coordinator Claire Colborn. “We pull together the contemporary issues and enlist the speakers best suited to delivering the message, and we’re always a step ahead, planning the next one before wrapping up the one in progress.”

In addition to the record number of educational sessions, Navigator featured several awards, including Dispatcher of the Year and the Dr. Jeff Clawson Leadership Award. The 29 graduates of the 2011 Communications Center Manager (CCM) course received certificates and NAED Accreditation Chairman Brian Dale announced 15 new Accredited Centers of Excellence and 48 centers achieving reaccreditation.

Navigator 2013 will be held April 17–19 in downtown Salt Lake City.

The annual Navigator conference draws more than 1,200 people from the emergency communications profession. The NAED is a nonprofit standard-setting organization promoting safe and effective emergency dispatch services worldwide.

For more information about the Academy, visit www.emergencydispatch.org

- People, Places & Things/ (via NAED, 5/8/12)





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