Back In A Big Way

Heather Darata

2020 was a year we won’t forget. It was a year of big adaptations including forgoing NAVIGATOR, which was set to take place in Florida last April.

As I write this, things have not fully returned to normal. But here is one exciting step closer to normalcy: NAVIGATOR is back in a big way this July. With Las Vegas as our stage, the Academy’s conference is set to once again welcome our members for learning and networking. We are looking forward to getting together in person after a long absence.

While some things might look a little different this year, what hasn’t changed is that it’s an event you won’t want to miss. For starters, there are 15 tracks—I’m sure you have your favorites. This lineup includes more than 140 sessions presented by more than 120 speakers. As I looked through the schedule, sessions in the Leadership & Operations, Stress Management, Human Resources, and Research tracks caught my eye.

In the Leadership & Operations track, there are sessions about improving communication between emergency dispatch and field response, building consensus in a consolidated center, and web ProQA® for low volume communication centers.

I noticed sessions offered in the Stress Management track about teamwork, the impact of fatigue, and controlling stress so it doesn’t control you. The Human Resources track has sessions about these hot topics: unconscious bias and diversity and inclusion.

One of our own, the Journal’s Becca Barrus, is co-presenting a research session called In Their Own Words: Facilitating a Conversation about 911 Perspectives. The Academy held focus groups in Salt Lake County (Utah) to solicit input from diverse communities about their attitudes, experiences, and perceptions of their local 911 services. An analysis of comments from the 65 participants identified seven significant barriers to calling 911. This session will include some of the focus group participants’ own words. 

Don’t forget about tracks for medical, fire, and police topics as well as special interest and technology. This is your one-stop shop for dispatch education. Make sure to visit the NAVIGATOR website (https://navigator.emergencydispatch.org/) to get more information about activities and sessions. We hope to see you July 13–15 at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas! If you aren’t able to join us in person, make sure to check out our virtual passport with access to the three general sessions, two keynotes, award presentations, and more than 20 breakout sessions. Sessions will be available live and on demand for 30 days after the conference. Whether you join us in Las Vegas or virtually, you can earn up to 24 hours of CDE credit.

Heather Darata is Senior Copy Editor for the Journal. She has worked for the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch for nearly 15 years. When not working, Heather enjoys spending time with her husband, reading, getting together with family and friends, and dabbling in cooking and baking. (heather.darata@prioritydispatch.net) 

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