Things are starting to feel more normal, if not completely normal, as the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be winding down and various restrictions are being lifted, or at least lessened. Strong evidence of this can be found next week in Columbus, Ohio, where the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) will host its annual trade show and conference. This is the first brick-and-mortar event to be staged in the public safety communications sector in roughly a year and a half.
As always, MCP will have a strong presence at NENA. The following are presentations that the firm’s leaders and subject-matter experts will deliver:
- Darrin Reilly, president and CEO, will discuss the need for public safety answering points (PSAPs) to alter their operational strategies to align them with the “new normal” that has emerged because of the pandemic, and will offer suggestions regarding how to meet that need. Among the topics that Reilly will cover: the opportunity for PSAPs to leverage cloud-based solutions; optimizing the PSAP workforce and streamlining 911 call triage; and cybersecurity, which is becoming a far bigger problem because cyberattacks are becoming more sophisticated, their attack vectors seeming are evolving by the hour, and they increasingly are targeting public-sector organizations, including public safety agencies. (Tuesday, July 27, 4 p.m. Eastern.)
- John Chiaramonte, president of MCP’s consulting division, will examine the importance of strategic planning for public safety agencies. Prior to the pandemic, plans were made, and projects were conceived, to improve the operations of public safety and justice organizations, with the corollary benefit of improved outcomes. And then, virtually overnight, due to the tumult created by the pandemic, many of those plans and projects were suspended. Today, the reality is that any plans that existed prior to the pandemic are outdated because so much has changed over the last couple of years. Chiaramonte will share his insights regarding how to develop new strategic plans that align with the current environment. (Tuesday, July 27, 1:30 p.m. Eastern.)
- Chiaramonte, in a separate session, will explore how Next Generation 911 (NG911) data can be used to prioritize calls generated by alarm systems. Such calls are a big problem for the 911 community. It is estimated that up to 20 percent of 911 calls received by PSAPs are generated by alarm systems and nearly 100 percent of them are unverified. Addressing this problem will lessen the burden on telecommunicators and supervisors, who already are extremely overburdened. (Wednesday, July 28, 11:15 a.m. Eastern.)
- Subject-matter expert (SME) Sherri Griffith Powell will explore community outreach during a crisis, with an emphasis on developing communications plans that target key external stakeholders, including government officials, citizens, mainstream media, and social media. (Wednesday, July 28, 8:45 a.m. Eastern.) Griffith Powell also is moderating a panel discussion on how women in the public safety sector can rise to greater leadership responsibilities. (Tuesday, July 27. 4:00 p.m. Eastern.)
In addition, MCP will be conducting cybersecurity and network monitoring demonstrations in its booth (#1200)—please stop by to learn how your agency can reduce its risk and close its vulnerabilities. We will also be speaking with anyone who is interested in a career at MCP.
Morgan Sava is vice president and director of marketing. She can be emailed at MorganSava@MissionCriticalPartners.com.