Standards in Action

Monday, August 7, 2023 | 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Mindy Conner Adams, CPE, RPL, ENP | APCO International

As an American National Standards (ANS) accredited Standards Developer, APCO is dedicated to ensuring public safety communications has a role in the development of standards affecting our industry. APCO standard development activities have a broad scope ranging from the actual development of standards to the representation of public safety communications in other standards development areas.

In this session, the presenter first answered “What is a standard?” It is a document, established by consensus, providing rules, guidelines, or characteristics for activities or their results. Standards provide a level of quality or attainment; idea or thing used to measure; used or accepted as normal or average. Standards are also defined as the best way of doing something, like answering a 9-1-1 call with a certain greeting, i.e., “What is the address of your emergency?” Standards are very familiar to public safety professionals.

She also discussed how attendees can make a difference in the public safety communications arena by getting involved with APCO’s Standards Development Committee (SDC) and the Subcommittees: Operational, Technical and Training. On APCO’s website, which also lists all new and revised standards, you can submit your interest to join a working group. The Call for Participation allows any and all users, producers, and those with a general interest to join a working group; you do not need to be a member of APCO or any other organization.

Some examples of new and revised standards published within the past two years include:

  • Public Safety Telecommunicator Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Program
  • Crisis Intervention Techniques and Call Handling Procedures for Public Safety Telecommunicators
  • Career Progression Within the Public Safety Emergency Communications Center.
  • Standard for Public Safety Telecommunicators When Responding to Calls of Missing, Abducted and Sexually Exploited Children
  • Wireless 9-1-1 Deployment and Management Effective Practices Guide.

Creating standard is one of the many ways public safety professionals make a difference in today’s world. When you volunteer to work on standards, you can make a meaningful difference in this world, your world, for years to come.