By Scott Freitag
Welcome to NAVIGATOR 2015.
This year’s theme, “Take the Next Step,” highlights the reason we, as a membership-driven organization, keep growing and why we continue to look forward to the high-octane event drawing close to 1,500 dedicated medical, police, and fire dispatchers and emergency communication nurses from all over the world.
Yes, this is a dynamic conference where members anticipate top-notch speakers, a tremendous mix of educational sessions suited to the many paths the profession has taken over the past several decades, vendors exhibiting state-of-the-art technology, and, as always, the opportunity to network with some of the biggest names in the industry.
And it’s more than that.
Members are core to NAVIGATOR’s success. Here, we speak the same language.
Whether it’s your first or 15th trip to the annual conference, you are the ones providing the inspiration behind the Academy’s Four Pillars of Care: Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD), Emergency Fire Dispatch (EFD), Emergency Police Dispatch (EPD), and the Emergency Communication Nurse System (ECNS).
You challenge us to help you “Take the Next Step” in dispatch excellence. You motivate the Academy to develop the gold standard of best practices for the industry. We learn from one another, and through our common experience, we build the confidence to set our sights high.
This could mean achieving an Accredited Center of Excellence (ACE), employing the full complement of protocols (depending on the needs of your agency), or getting involved on the front lines of new knowledge through Academy research projects. You might come a day or two early for the pre-conference workshops with your “must attend” sessions from the three days of official conference highlighted in your On-site Guide.
In between, we enjoy talking about what we do and how, as individuals, we view our contributions to the profession.
We also know how to have fun. The fringe benefits of NAVIGATOR—the Opening Gala Reception, Closing Luncheon, Attendee Party, and awards—extend our reach. We applaud the achievements of peers while following their lead to do the same.
NAVIGATOR 2015 also carries special meaning for me. It was 10 years ago that I attended NAVIGATOR as your Academy President, a position I graciously accepted in 2004. I had been involved with the Academy for about seven years, serving in various positions, including the government affairs director.
That conference was spectacular on several levels.
We celebrated the release of the Medical Priority Dispatch System (MPDS) v11.2 and the Police Priority Dispatch System (PPDS) v2.0, and accompanying curriculum. We announced that work was starting on the second version of the Fire Priority Dispatch System (FPDS) and the first-ever multiple-discipline Instructor Academy for new instructors. We presented a 22-minute documentary describing the origins of the MPDS and the Academy.
We praised our successes and held firm to our convictions for the future.
In my opening remarks, I talked about the staff and volunteers dedicated to making sure the protocol was the best it could be. I looked forward to the continued growth of protocols and an organization that, someday, would hold the same esteem for standards in health care as the American Heart Association and the American Red Cross. I believed our collective determination would bring greater and greater respect to the profession.
All of these things, and more, have happened in the past 10 years. The Academy is at the forefront of emergency dispatch, and we are the highly regarded standard for the industry. Our membership has nearly doubled during the past decade, as have the number of agencies achieving ACE. NAVIGATOR keeps getting bigger and better.
The Academy will always “Take the Next Step” for the millions of people depending on us each time they dial 9-1-1. And it is our pledge that we continue to take it together.