About the TabletopX Blog

A “Tabletop Exercise,” often shortened as “TTX,” is a discussion-based exercise frequently used by emergency planners. Led by a facilitator using a planned scenario, TTX participants describe the actions they would take, and the processes and procedures they would follow. The facilitator notes the players’ contributions and ensures that exercise objectives are met. Following the exercise, the facilitator typically develops an after-action report and conducts a debrief discussion during which players and observers have an opportunity to share their thoughts, observations, and recommendations from the exercise without assigning fault or blame.

Many of the attributes of a TTX are the same we seek to promote in the discussion generated from our blog posts. The goal is to capitalize on the shared experiences and expertise of all the participants to identify best practices, as well as areas for improvement, and thus achieve as successful a response to an emergency as possible.

TabletopX blog posts are written by APCO’s Government Relations team and special guests.

TabletopX Latest Posts

  • Regulatory Update from APCO’s Chief Counsel at APCO 2022

    On August 7, during APCO’s Annual Conference, Chief Counsel, Jeff Cohen, provided the following report on APCO’s advocacy efforts at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

  • Talking Points for APCO’s Legislative Priorities

    APCO members often contact us to ask for talking points to prepare for meetings with their U.S. Senators and Representatives. Having accurate talking points to speak from – or leave with the congressional staffers you meet with – can ensure that you use your meeting time efficiently and are prepared to answer key questions about the issues. Following up on the blog describing APCO’s advocacy priorities for 2022, here are talking points for our top legislative issues: 1) securing federal funding for Next Generation 9-1-1; 2) correcting the federal classification of public safety telecommunicators; and 3) funding health and wellness programs for 9-1-1 professionals.  

  • APCO International’s Public Safety Communications Priorities for the New Year

    The following is a list of our advocacy priorities for the coming year. Despite much progress and several wins that APCO members should be proud of since we announced our 2021 legislative and regulatory priorities, there is still significant work to be done for public safety communications.

  • Aligning APCO’s Advocacy Priorities With Our Members’ Needs

    Back in January, we posted a blog outlining our top legislative and regulatory priorities for 2021. Now that we are six months into the year, and with APCO’s Annual Conference right around the corner, we’re writing to reflect on the “why” behind our advocacy. APCO is driven by the needs of its public safety membership.

  • APCO International’s Public Safety Communications Priorities for the New Year

    By Jeff Cohen In 2020, public safety communications professionals faced an extraordinary year, dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, record-breaking natural disasters, and major civil unrest, in addition to their “routine” work protecting and saving lives. From an advocacy perspective, 2020 was a mixed bag. We witnessed some progress with federal legislation, but there’s a lot […]

  • Update on New FCC Spectrum Rules: Why APCO is suing the FCC

    By Jeff Cohen Last year, I wrote a blog titled “New FCC Spectrum Rules Put Public Safety Communications at Risk.” As I explained, the FCC adopted new rules to allow Wi-Fi routers to freely operate throughout a major spectrum band that is heavily relied upon by public safety agencies for “microwave” communications. APCO and other […]

  • Forming the Public Safety Next Generation 9-1-1 Coalition

    Looking back at 2020, one of the bright spots for APCO was joining with other leading public safety associations to advocate for legislation that would establish a significant one-time federal grant program to achieve Next Generation 9‑1‑1 (NG9‑1‑1) nationwide. Following months of collaboration between various public safety associations and congressional staff, the Next Generation 9-1-1 […]

  • New FCC Spectrum Rules Put Public Safety Communications at Risk

    By Jeff Cohen APCO recently filed two formal petitions with the FCC regarding a major change it made to regulations that govern the use of spectrum that is relied upon by public safety. One was a Petition for Reconsideration, urging the FCC to repeal the new rules and fix numerous problems; the other was a […]

  • Federal Report Estimates Extent of Interoperability Challenges for 9-1-1

    This won’t come as news to anyone working in public safety communications, but 9-1-1 faces significant interoperability challenges.  While ECCs are generally able to transfer basic voice 9-1-1 calls to neighboring ECCs, they often cannot share other types of communications and data important for emergency response.

  • 2020 Legislative Priorities

    By Jeff Cohen We just started a new year, but there are only a few months left to achieve a number of public safety legislative objectives before Congress enters into election mode. Click on the topics listed below to read background info and talking points for raising these matters, especially if you have plans to […]

  • FCC on the Verge of a Major Setback to 9-1-1 Location Accuracy

    By Jeff Cohen This Friday, the FCC will vote on new rules that are supposed to ensure that first responders can locate someone who calls 9-1-1 from inside a multi-story building.  Unfortunately, the rules will not only fail to produce meaningful improvements, the FCC will let wireless carriers continue to avoid pursuing much better options […]

  • New Progress for Getting Wireless 9-1-1 Calls to the Right ECC

    By Mark Reddish Apple recently announced that devices running iOS 13 will enable location fixes quickly enough to be used for routing wireless 9-1-1 calls.  This is a significant development because routing 9-1-1 calls based on the device’s estimated location, rather than relying on the location of the cell sector serving the caller, will allow […]