By Audrey Fraizer
There’s something to be said about the advance in technology. We might wax nostalgic over the “old way” of doing things, but fondly remembering the past doesn’t mean we’d ever want to go back there.
After all, how many miss bumping into the hall while running to answer a phone as opposed to putting a cell phone to the ear, writing a letter—yes, using pen and paper—instead of sending a spell-checked e-mail, or scrounging through pockets or a purse to find the right change for making a local or long-distance (operator -assisted) call.
The rapid, take no prisoners advance to the digital world of communications seems to be the revolution that has no end and never intends to step aside. In my world, print media are scrambling to find their voice. Even classic urban newsstands set apart by personality are losing ground to digital newsstands resembling electronic billboards in a four-sided toaster oven motif.
In your world, NG9-1-1 is the future. In the next year, two, or three, a dispatcher might be fielding multiple text messages about an emergency while another dispatcher in the same room is watching a video of the incident a bystander is digitally recording live. Who knows? Maybe communication will be so interconnected, so advanced, that work-at-home promotions include 9-1-1 dispatching from the comfort of your living room.
The possibilities are endless; the thought of fleeing pointless.
The Journal is no exception in this advancing age of technology. In February, we went digital, offering some of the more popular articles—such as the continuing dispatch education articles and accompanying quizzes—online and in print. If there’s more to tell, the website will carry the excess.
The printed version of the magazine will maintain the same distinct look and feel and go out to the same addresses; however, the online version of some of the stories found in print will provide more detail—interesting stuff that doesn’t fit the space of our printed page limit. For example, James Thalman’s story describing the wildfires raging through parts of the country can be found in this issue, while other stories he wrote or found through online searches will be posted to our website.
The Journal website can be accessed by visiting www.iaedjournal.org. In addition to news, the online version of the magazine will feature videos, links to research relevant to dispatch, and interactive media. We have other plans in the making and certainly invite our readers’ suggestions.
Technology does have its advantages, but, as they say, it sometimes takes new ways of doing things to remember what’s good about the old. There will never be a website releasing that magical scent of printer’s ink and no digital page that will stand up to the lining of a birdcage or the wrappings of a fish. Some things you just can’t change.