PSC eNews Weekly
Friday, September 25, 2020
President's Channel

By Margie Moulin, APCO President

In a June PSC eNews President’s Channel, Immediate Past President Tracey Hilburn announced APCO’s commitment to focusing on the difficult issues of diversity and equality within the public safety communications community. I write today to update you on our progress.

The Executive Committee recently took the opportunity to meet virtually with a cross-section of the membership in a moderated conversation as to what APCO can do to address diversity, equity and inclusion matters within emergency communications centers. The session was honest and helpful in thinking through how best APCO can move forward on these issues. 

From this candid conversation, we have begun initial efforts to underscore the importance of diversity and fairness for all members in the workplace. Read more


On September 21, APCO joined with nine other public safety associations to submit a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai asking him to remove a draft Report and Order on the 4.9 GHz spectrum rules from the FCC’s September 30 meeting agenda. Currently, public safety agencies have exclusive access to a block of 4.9 GHz spectrum, which supports broadband communications. The letter expressed concern with the draft item’s plan to permit states to lease the 4.9 GHz spectrum for non-public safety purposes, explaining that doing so would threaten public safety’s existing use of the band and prevent public safety use from growing. The letter highlighted the fact that for more than a decade the public safety community has asked the FCC for reasonable changes to the 4.9 GHz rules that would help public safety make more effective, reliable and increased use of the band, but the FCC has ignored these requests without explanation.


On September 23, APCO filed a Petition for Reconsideration with the FCC regarding the rules on wireless 9-1-1 location accuracy that were adopted in July. APCO pointed out that the revision to the dispatchable location requirements lacks a basis in the record, fails to chart a course for achieving real progress with the delivery of dispatchable location, and risks creating a way for carriers to comply with the location accuracy requirements without actually providing improved location information with 9-1-1 calls. As an alternative, APCO asked the FCC to establish a minimum percentage of 9-1-1 calls that must be delivered with dispatchable location information.

The APCO Young Professionals Committee recognizes Russ Palmer as this quarter’s young professional spotlight. Russ is the Deputy Director of the Support Services Division for Chatham 911 in Georgia. His division includes training, quality assurance, open records, community outreach and technical services. Read more
Russ Palmer (right) with Jonathan Jones
Comtech Safety & Security Technologies
Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure
Getting your resume exactly right is hard work, and it can be difficult to know what to include about your career and how to say it. Let our years of expertise in resume development and coaching public safety professionals guide you. APCO's Resume Review includes a professional review of your resume with recommended edits followed by a one-on-one coaching session to discuss interview tips, due diligence during your job search and strategy. Learn more

October 1 | 1:00 p.m. ET
Presenters: Renee Gordon, Ryan Burchnell, Ryan Fields-Spack and Carrie Johnson
Free for APCO members and worth one CDE

Public safety agencies and other first responders continue to work around the clock to assess and mitigate the COVID-19 spread nationwide. Learn how emergency communications centers and other first responders are innovating – and working remotely in some cases – to keep themselves and their communities safe. Hear from Renee Gordon, Director of Emergency Communications for the City of Alexandria (VA), about how they are using FirstNet. Register

Sponsored by FirstNet Built with AT&T


Providing good customer service is critical to the successful performance by PSTs and the agency they represent. APCO's Customer Service Training for Telecommunicators course addresses all aspects of customer service and the role it plays in emergency communications. Topics covered include customer attitudes and expectations, quality control, investigating complaints and how to improve customer service in the comm center. Students earn eight CDEs for completing the course. The next class begins on October 7. Learn more


Getting involved in the APCO standards development process is an excellent way to contribute your knowledge and experiences as well as learn from your peers. You do not need to be an APCO member or an expert to participate; you just need to be willing to use your skills to accomplish a common goal. If you are interested in joining, please complete the Standards Development Committee Continuous Recruitment survey.

Astronics Test Systems  - Orlando
Industry News
Public safety agencies use the APCO International Agency Training Program Certification, a Project 33® Initiative, as a formal mechanism to ensure their training programs meet APCO American National Standards (ANS). Initial and continuing training for public safety telecommunicators is important as they provide essential services to the public in an expanding and rapidly changing environment.
agl Media Group
The nationwide communications network dedicated exclusively to public safety communications was spurred on by the difficulty of first responder communications in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Four members of the emergency communications center staff traveled to Robertsdale, Alabama, as part of an APCO Florida Telecommunicator Emergency Response Task Force (TERT).
Bethesda Magazine
Confusion about where a drowning victim was located between Montgomery County, Maryland, and Loudoun County, Virginia, may have delayed the 9-1-1 response. Following the incident, the counties came up with recommendations to improve efficiency in responding to Potomac River rescues to avoid a similar situation from reoccurring.
York Dispatch
Tasks such as checking data for reports and running vehicle checks will be shifted to police, fire and EMS officers so that public safety telecommunicators can focus on emergency calls. The changes are meant to be temporary and were forced by limited staffing, according to 9-1-1 Director Matthew Hobson.
The Trib
Police chief David Elliott said, “Communications is our lifeline.” Officials complained that first responders cannot always hear their paging or other communications.
Watson Consoles
Times Leader
The towers must meet more stringent safety requirements as the mountainous county undergoes a $25 million upgrade to its emergency radio communications.
Public safety telecommunicators will be able to dispatch the drone to deliver lifesaving equipment, including an AED, a tourniquet and Narcan, while emergency medical personnel are en route.
North Forty News
Five fire districts have signed intergovernmental agreements to dispatch the nearest unit to fires throughout the county. The system is made possible by a dispatching system displaying GPS information for all emergency fire vehicles, regardless of jurisdiction.
With the improvements, public safety telecommunicators will be able to start text conversations instead of just respond to a text sent to 9-1-1.
Augusta Free Press
While Harrisonburg-Rockingham Emergency Communications Center officials recommend residents call 9-1-1 if they can, texting is now available to those unable to call during an emergency.
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