Last week, the IJIS Institute staff attended and presented at the APCO Canada 2018 Conference & Tradeshow. The focus of APCO Canada was on innovative technology use and adoption, and its impact on professionals working in Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs). There was great focus on staff wellness and how to ensure that the leaders in the public safety arena are addressing their staffs’ needs. Finally, the topic of procurement was also prevalent in the agenda and in the discussions among the participants.
There was a lot of discussion around Next Generation 911 roll out in Canada. In order to have a successful roll out, a coalition has been formed called the CanadianNG911 Coalition. This coalition presented at the conference and shared the roadmap and the timeline they have put together on the NG911 roll out in Canada. The IP-based ESInet will be available for critical voice communications by June 2020 and critical data will be available within 18 months of this timeline. All the legacy networks will be decommissioned by June 2023.
The IJIS Institute staff participated on the panel discussion about Innovative NG911 Solutions: Advances in Emergency Communications Technologies. This panel covered the innovative developments in Next Generation 911, and the nature of emergency communications now and into the future. Emergency calling and data interoperability for emergency services are at a critical point, where the integration of networks and services sit on the verge of more widespread and essential interoperability.
It was shared during the conference that Canada has a nonprofit to address public safety health issues and this new entity is called the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (CISPRT). The mission of the CISPRT is, “to provide a Canadian hub for strategic public safety wellness research and analysis, knowledge translation, and mobilization, working with public safety leaders and academics from across Canada to develop and deploy solutions that meet the current and future needs of Canadian Public Safety Personnel.” CISPRT is looking at mental health issues, not only among first responders, but is also expanding its research to include corrections officers.
Keynote speaker François Mathieu (Co-Executive Director, TEND) spoke about the impact of secondary trauma, compassion fatigue, burnout, self-care, wellness, and organizational health. François talked about how the PSAP staff should look at the model that companies like Dropbox, Facebook, Twitter, and others are using with content moderator staff as these companies have figured out a model to ensure wellness of their content moderators. This model should be explored further for the first responders to ensure their safety and wellness. François also shared an assessment tool with attendees, Professional Quality of Life (PROQOL), that can be used to assess “Compassion Satisfaction and Compassion Fatigue.”
Looking at the conference topics and the discussion that the IJIS team had with the APCO Canada leadership, it is clear that IJIS Institute Members have lots of opportunities in Canada to support the first responder community with the technology adoption, information sharing, and interoperability.