I recently had the pleasure to be at the APCO Canada Conference & Exhibition 2019 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I had a busy week together with BAPCO Vice President Chris Lucas plus colleagues from across Canada as well as from Europe and the United States.
A highlight of the week was the signing of a new partnership agreement between four organisations that between them represent users and industry across continents and many countries. Born from discussions earlier this year, the new Collaborative Coalition for International Public Safety sees the associations promise to work together for the benefit of all when it comes to delivering public safety through technology and communications.
At those earlier discussions, Monica Million, President of NENA in the USA, Ron Williscroft, Director of APCO Canada and I were discussing our various countries’ plans for Next Generation (NG) Emergency Number calling. I’m a big fan of developing systems for those who will use them and asking those who know what they are talking about how things should work in future. This often means considering the experiences of my (grown up) children. They are avid consumers of technology and have no respect for anybody or anything that gets in the way of it working, no matter where they are in the world, who provides the connectivity or the particular device they happen to be using at the time. Some in our industry would call that a naïve view. I’d say it’s the way most people work these days.
My colleagues and I were having the NG999 / 911 / 112 discussion and realised, although we were talking the same language, using the same words even, we meant different things. From there we talked about ensuring we have a common understanding by sharing what we are doing in our associations and what is happening in our countries. I’m pleased to say, soon after our initial discussions, EENA came on board which strengthened our network across North America and Europe.
The initial agreement was signed by representatives of the four associations at the APCO Canada meeting in Nova Scotia on the 4th November. Monica Million, President of NENA; Demetri Pyrros, President of EENA; Cindy Sparrow, President of APCO Canada; Chris Lucas, VP of BAPCO.
There will be news soon on what the initial areas of information sharing will be. We also hope to be able to share member benefits across the associations.
This is absolutely not the creation of another organisation. There is no intention to have new events or a new category of membership. It is a desire for like minded professionals to represent their members and their industry in the best way possible. We want to share knowledge, work and understanding to reduce effort and ease the adoption of relevant technology across the world.
Ian Thompson, Chief Executive, BAPCO, email@example.com