IPSTA Program

38th Annual Illinois Public Safety
Telecommunications Association Conference
October 23-26, 2022

Sunday, October 23rd 
8:30 AMPre-Conference Course: The Emotionally Intelligent Comm Center - Adam Timm

(Separate Registration Required)

3:00 PMConference Registration Opens

4:30 PMIL APCO/INENA Joint Chapter Meeting - Plaza C/D
6:00 PMFirst Timer Welcome - Ruby
6:30 PMWelcome Reception in the Vendor Area

Monday, October 24th 

8:30 AMOpening Session - Ballroom

9:00 AMKeynote: Front Line Leadership: How We All Make A Difference - Adam Timm
10:30 AMExclusive Vendor Hours 10:30 AM - 1:30 PM (Vendor Hall Open 10:30 AM - 4:00 PM)
12:00 PMLunch in the Vendor Hall, Bring your Ticket


MondayHot Topics - Sapphire Telecommunicator - Plaza C/D
1:30 PMLegislative Session 101Managing the Multigenerational Workforce: Boomer to Zoomer

IL- Joint Legislative Committee and State 9-1-1 AdministratorStephen James Robinson - Stephen James Johnson, LLC

This legislative super session will cover the current issues on a state level regarding 9-1-1.  The presenters will be joined by members of the joint IL-APCO and I NENA legislative committee and the statewide 9-1-1 Administrator.  Many important updates will be shared. 

Conversations about multi-generational workplaces often highlight the negative stereotypes of each generation. Millennials are accused of eating too many avocados and expecting participation trophies while emerging Gen Z throws stones at Baby Boomers with phrases like, OK, Boomer. The generational divide is only growing, leaving most generations feeling misunderstood and judged. Light-hearted yet educational, this session highlights the strengths of each generation, grants insights as to where we come apart so we can better come together, and how we can effectively master teamwork across multiple generations to achieve organizational success and increase customer service.

Hot Topics - SapphireSupervisor/Manager - RubyTelecommunicator -
Plaza C/D
Technology - Plaza A
3:15 PMCISA's PSAP Security Assesments
We Don't Have Funding for ThatCustomer Service - It's Our Obligation 
How Text and Multimedia evolved into a critical public safety tool 

James Stromberg, CISA, DHS
Tanya Lee, Evans ConsolesJohn Ferraro, Northwest Central Dispatch System
Jay Malin, Agent511

Five Illinois PSAPs are currently in the process of receiving free Cyber Assessments from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.  In this session CISA staff will explain their free cyber assessment service for PSAPs and Land Mobile Radio systems.  They will summarize how the assessment was obtained and the process they are undertaking with each PSAP.  They will share examples of common findings from other PSAP cyber assessments and will provide suggestions that any PSAP can implement now to mitigate risk and improve their cyber posture. 
In this session we are going to discuss and talk about the trials that the public safety industry is experiencing currently.  We will talk about things to do RIGHT NOW to help improve the culture of your center and give you solutions to some of the most difficult struggles including peer support, morale, and safety all while not costing a lot as we know, especially during these times, funding is an issue now more than ever! 

This 45-minute session will highlight the best segments of NENA's 8-hour class and arm attendees with tools to deliver the best customer service.  

Text-to-911 was first delivered in 2014 and its potential was understated; some thought it would die soon thereafter.  Not only has SMS text-to-9-1-1 increased in popularity, today's platforms enhance community engagement and situational awareness.  Language translation expands access and offers dispatch the ability to overcome communication barriers after the initial call is over.  Text-from-911 not only alleviates the impact of pocket dials, but facilitates multimedia and streaming video requests.  Device location and integrated maps along with artificial intelligence helps with seamless ECC workflows and accurate dispatch.  We will discuss use cases derived from our experience in the field and compare technologies.  
4:15 PMWhy NG911 isn't just about the technology Customer Service - Educating Medical Facilities and other "Specialized Callers"Why They Stay9-1-1 Data Messaging

Halcyon Frank, Denise Amber Lee FoundationMeridith Jensen, Priority DispatchTanya Lee, Evans ConsolesAlex Hamlin, Intrado Life and Safety

When the term "Next Generation 911" is heard, we often think about how it will bring changes to the programs we use and the technology our center relies on. What isn't thought about is how the Next Generation of 911 is not only about adapting to new technology, but new practices and models of training, retention, hiring, and other personnel related matters in the center. During this session will look at how personnel systems put in place during the "Legacy 911" period no longer meet the needs of the Next Generation of 911 personnel.

“Why are you asking me all these questions…..just send us an ambulance for a transport!

Learn some effective strategies for educating the staff at Nursing Homes, Assisted Living Facilities, Urgent Care Centers and other “Specialized Caller” locations about your center’s operations & procedures for EMD

Leave this session armed with some tools to deliver an orientation for these groups that targets more cooperation and better understanding for all.

This session will discuss the thought process behind a domestic violence victim and why they continue to stay in their unhealthy environment despite repeated abuse.  Class is designed to help telecommunicators handle these calls with empathy and understanding and give them firsthand knowledge of why they stay.

"There is no need for PSAPs to be intimidated by staggering, seemingly endless, amounts of data now available from a multitude of resources including Internet of Things (IoT) providers. Instead, 911 Data Messaging can be accessed, coalesced and safely delivered to First Responders in the field – all within the existing 911 workflow – to provide greater situational awareness with potentially life-saving results. 

Join this session to learn how data messaging to 911 enables live messaging between 911 callers or third-party emergency contacts/call centers and 911 telecommunicators in real time, similar to the way that text-to-911 communications occur today. Attendees will appreciate the opportunity to leverage existing system, enabling tech companies to send human-verified data to their center directly, obliterating the need to monitor a separate over-the-top (OTT) application.

5:15 PM5K Run, at the IDOT site; exactly 1 mile north of the hotel.  This will be a true 5k and one total lap to get this distance.

                     Tuesday, October 25th
8:30 AMVendor Floor Opens, Coffee/Rolls
11:00 AMVendor Prize Giveaway on Vendor Floor
11:00 AMIL-TERT Meeting, Plaza A


TuesdayHot Topics - SapphireSupervisor/Manager - RubyTelecommunicator -
Plaza C/D
Technology - Plaza A
8:30 AMThe Ever Evolving Evolution of the ECCWhen Policy KillsSaving Lives on Both sides of the CallSWIT: Statewide Interoperability Template

Amy Marion, Rapid SOSTony Harrison, Public Safety GroupTracy Eldridge, On Scene First Steve Rauter , SIEC Committee, ILAPCO Board

"We operate in a public safety world that seems to move at glacial speed in some ways and at whirlwind speed in other ways.    We operate in an ever evolving world of technology, but fitting into a legacy world limited by funding, upgrades, standards, and personalities.  

This session  will discuss the history and origin of Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP), how that terminology is outdated but why it is still in use., how an Emergency Communications Center (ECC) differs from a PSAP, and where does a Real Time Crime Center (RTCC) fit into the puzzle. 

We have areas covered by Basic 911 still in existence today, Enhanced 911 is everywhere but is outdated, and what is fully Next Generation.  Are we there yet?   Will we get there and when?  What does that look like? 

In recent years, the awareness and acknowledgement of the needs surrounding mental health support has become a hot topic.    We will chat about why we have to shift how we cope with the trauma our public safety role exposes us to, what we can do individually, and how we can better support each other mentally and physically.  

The course is designed to examine policies that some agencies have that are ineffective and could possibly hamper response to an emergency and in extreme cases could lead the potentially fatal consequences. The purpose of this class is designed to get you thinking, to challenge some thoughts you may have had in the past and to present some ideas that you may not have thought. I want to generate discussion throughout this presentation so if you have a question please ask it, if you dis agree with something said, please say so. There maybe additional issues and thoughts that I have not considered. Post-traumatic stress affects many in the public safety circle, including telecommunicators. Let's take a looking at where post-traumatic stress starts and where it has the potential to end. After having to leave the job she loved in the 9-1-1 Communication Center, a job she truly loved, your instructor will take you on her journey from the depths of darkness to a place of peace. Also, this presentation will look at a PTSD timeline that includes the events leading up to PTSD, warning signs, diagnosis, ways to get help, and, most importantly, how to have it but not let it have you!

"The presenter(s) will review the 5 main components of the roll out of a comprehensive radio communcations template that will enhance interoperability, improve on-scene management of multi-disciplinary responses.

While there will be some technical discussions, the focus will be the ""50,000 foot view"" of what is being done to increase interoperability for users of 700mHz, 800mHz, VHF, UHF, and STARCOM21.

The audience can be any IPSTA attendee from any discipline, including vendors who will be involved in this initiative.

By the time of IPSTA, we should also have some of the work product of the Grant that is being used to complete this initiative (handouts, visor cards, etc.)."

1:00 PMLEADS UpdateThreat AwarenessIllinois 9-1-1 Peer Support Using Z Axis to locate 9-1-1 Callers Faster

Boyd Butler Illinois State PoliceSean Scott, Securelore SolutionsPatrick O'Sullivan, Illinois 9-1-1 Peer SupportStacen Gross, GEOCOMM

Inform users of LEADS 3.0 functionality; Update users of LEADS interfaces; Q&A

Update users of LEADS functionality, interfaces, and Q&A
Do you know how to detect a cyber incident? With the increasing number of attacks now targeting our country's critical 9-1-1 services, it is imperative that our ECC's be aware of the cybersecurity issues and threats that can impact them. And with that, knowing how to detect a cyber incident before it takes down their ECC network. Everyone uses a computer, so everyone needs cybersecurity training. As the industry continues to move to NG9-1-1 and mobile broadband, cybersecurity becomes even more vital to the day-to-day operations of our PSAPs and communication centers.Following the proven method of Illinois firefighter peer support program that has  been in place since 2016. I would like to give the opportunity to do the same for dispatchers, the first, first responders.  Dispatchers have a unique perspective to emergency situations and need training and outlets for the accumulated stress we deal with on a daily basis.  Illinois 911 peer support will be a group of trained dispatchers that will be avail to any dispatcher or PSAP center in the state of Illinois.  Peer to peer support is a confidential and protected conversation from one dispatcher to another about anything that they may be struggling with.  Our job as dispatchers are very isolating and over time it is easy to think we are the only ones struggling, when in fact we are all struggling and we are all in this together. There is relief in knowing you are not alone.  IL911ps is an organization made up of dispatchers to let other dispatcher know they are not alone and it is ok not be ok. 

"Your ECC is likely beginning to see the addition of elevation information in the 9-1-1 ALI data received with many wireless 9-1-1 calls.  The raw geodetic position measurement of latitude, longitude, and elevation is the first ingredient to locating callers more accurately in an indoor setting.  We will discuss what this new location information means and how your ECC can leverage your GIS data to make this information meaningful and actionable with the addition of indoor floor plan mapping.  Last, we will discuss how ECC's are using indoor maps today, including agencies right here in IL.                                 


2:00 PMComponents for Successful QA CalibrationFeedback is your friend Are You A MemberLooking Into The Future

Merideth Jensen, Priority DispatchHalcyon Frank, Denise Amber Lee FoundationHeather Butler, Dekalb County, LaToya Marz, Tri-Comm, Amy Lovell , Chicago OEMCJulie Berhelole, Rapid SOS

This session will focus on the key elements to ensure that your Quality Assurance practices are pointed towards sustainable success.  Aligning policies & procedures with the Standards, calibrating your QAU Teams, setting up calibration activities and reports.Regular feedback is an integral part of a highly effective communications center, but the thought of giving it can be overwhelming. This session will explore how to give regular feedback to help employees improve performance and strengthen relationships.

"What exactly is NENA and APCO, what can it do for a TC like me? Why should I be a member?

Topic points:

  • Speaker intro - where we came from, how long in 9-1-1, where we are now. What we are involved in within NENA/APCO.
  • What is NENA? What is their focus? What does a membership get you?
  • What is APCO? What is their focus? What does a membership get you?
  • How do the two differ?
  • How does NENA and APCO work together in IL. And what does each membership look like at the state level.
  • But I'm just a TC, why be a member? How can I be more involved? 
  • How to encourage your boards and admin to look into group memberships.

"Looking into the Future: The Internet of Life-Saving Things

Over the past year, an increasing number of connected device companies have collaborated with emergency response data platforms to connect their consumers directly to public safety during emergencies while delivering actionable, incident-specific data to first responders. The Internet of Life-Saving Things continues to expand today. Attendees will hear about new data types available to public safety, lessons learned, and groundbreaking NG911 tools coming soon.

In this session, a seasoned public safety professional and emergency technology expert will discuss the growth and future of the Internet of Life-Saving Things, how such a network has and will continue to support 9-1-1 in enhancing emergency response, and why public safety professionals should harness this technology. 

Attendees will explore how the Internet of Life-Saving Things has expanded over the past year given unprecedented times where the nation experienced a pandemic, several natural disasters, and large scale events. They will learn how smart homes, connected vehicles, wearables, and mobile apps collect a variety of life-saving data that is critical to enabling faster, situationally aware response. 

The speaker will illustrate the NG911 solutions that exist today for 9-1-1 to receive and share situational data from connected devices with first responders in the field, and how a secure emergency response data platform has proven successful in turning data into actionable emergency information. 

The speaker will also share insights into trends to look forward to in emergency technology and public safety. From innovative solutions that empower increased real-time situational awareness to technologies that enhance interoperability across agencies nationwide, what's next in NG911?"

3:00 PMLegal Issues in the ECCMotivation Through LeadershipIL-TERT We Need You!Mapping A Course for NG 9-1-1 -  Beyond the Call:         Getting the Big Picture

John Kelly, Ottosen Law
Mathew Vergin, CenCom 9-1-1Dale Murray, ILTERT President, Will County ETSB, ILAPCO BoardCharles VanHoose, Intrado 

This session will include information on current legal issues confronting ECC personnel, including the latest liability cases, legal trends and policy issues. We will also look at other laws that impact the operation of the ECC. Finally, there will be ample opportunity for attendees to ask questions regarding legal issues specific to their center. 

Create high functioning teams by leveraging individual strengths and fostering a supportive environment as you define your role as a leader in the emergency communications center whether you are a director, supervisor, CTO or frontline telecommunicator looking for leadership responsibility. Identify the keys to employee performance and how to use these keys to resolve issues within your organization. Understand how attitude impacts your organization and how to influence positive attitudes within your emergency communications center. Attendees will have the opportunity to explore new ideas for motivating and empowering their teams to strive to be their best, invest in their organization, and serve their communities to the highest level.

This session will give attendees the information need to understand what IL-TERT is, what is required to become a member agency, the benefits of becoming a member and examples for TERT deployments. 

"There are four critical elements of Next Generation 911 (NG911) - an Emergency Services IP network (ESInet), Next-Generation Core Services, NG911 call-taking equipment and, perhaps as intriguing as all of it put together, Geographical Information Systems (GIS). 

As PSAPs strive to adhere to emergency communications standards for NG911, reliable GIS data for location validation and routing is a vital commodity. This standard defines specific GIS data layers in PSAP and response agency-mapping applications for handling and responding to 911 calls.

As tough as it is to create and maintain NG911 GIS data for location validation and routing, it is possible. Join this session to learn how PSAPs can maintain their 911 location data in an efficient, timely and accurate manner in real time, and better leverage that same data through a powerful map-based incident response solution. 

Don't miss this opportunity to hear GIS Engineer, Charles VanHoose, explain how emerging new technology now consolidates a variety of data sources and call-handling into a single powerful display that includes aerial and indoor map views, advanced search functionality and real time data such as caller and incident locations, available responding unites, traffic information with estimated arrival times, etc. 

With this level of advanced functionality, telecommunicators will be able to provide first responders with exceptional situational awareness to help save lives. 

Thank you for allowing us to submit this proposal for a speaking spot at a valuable industry event. Mr. Van Hoose has a passion for public safety and a concern to educate on emerging technologies that help telecommunicators, first responders, and citizens."

Morale, The Good, The Bad
and The Fixable
Can We Be Friends?
Preventing Compassion Fatigue & Vicarious Trauma: Overcome the Cost of Caring
Can My Environment Make Me Sick

Tracy Eldridge, On Scene FirstRhonda Fiegel,  
McLean County 911 Communications Center
Adam Timm, The Healthy DispatcherTanya Lee, Evans Consoles

"Have you suddenly found your center at an all-time low when it comes to Morale? This session will identify some of the most common morale demoralizers, which is the easy part. The hard part is being able to identify your personal morale-lowering behavior and the effects it has on the team. Once we identify the behaviors that need to change, we can then learn how to make those changes. All it takes is a consistent and persistent positive change to improve morale. Are you ready?

Anyone else already climbed the leadership ladder within their center or looking to advance in their career?  Something that I have personally had to realize and accept since no one shared with me before hand is that the higher you go the lonelier it seems to get. Also, during those times of advancement I've had to reestablish boundaries with co-workers to employee relationships.  I want to share with newly appointed leadership and those looking to advance that there's still a way to balance it all and it will all be worth it. It's a matter of finding "your people" that understand. One more tid bit of information there are ways to boost morale in your center along the way through those advancements that may smooth the transition and be positive changes that were needed. 

Recent studies have proven the link between handling traumatic calls of life-threatening nature and the onset of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Over the life of a 9-1-1 telecommunicator's career, these symptoms” including emotional numbing, avoidance and isolation, and hypervigilance can erode the ability to remain alert and impartial while also providing excellent customer service to callers in need. The impact of duty-related trauma can also be felt at home. With the strategies and perspectives taught in this class, participants will be able to combat feelings of job-related burnout, curb their complacency, and continue making a difference while saving lives.

In this session we will discuss key factors that impact your environment that can either positively or detrimentally impact the health of employees in a center.  We will also discuss how ergonomics, lighting, acoustics, and more can impact the physical and mental health and how it can impact overall morale and productivity.  We will also discuss solutions that can be implemented to help ensure the health and safety of your center!

Wednesday, October 26th
9:00 AMMaintaining True North When Things Go South by Stephen James Johnson

It's likely that we'll experience a time in our lives (or we already have) when everything around us seems to go south. For those who work in public safety, the demand for service never stops, despite the challenges we may face both on and off the job. How do we maintain course when obstacles appear too great for us to bear? How do we remain focused on goals and dreams when getting through the week seems hard enough? How do we start to climb out of hardship, suffering, and trial and move onto fullness of life? This pragmatic yet challenging session provides a step-by-step process to stay focused on true north when things go south. Not for the faint-of-heart, this talk will equip you to conquer challenges that lay ahead or even behind you.

Stephen James Johnson Bio:
Stephen is a public safety professional, educator, crisis response chaplain, and public speaker. He has a breadth of expertise across the public safety disciplines, including forensic case management of sex offenders and cases involving domestic violence, leadership roles in emergency medical services, and executive level service in 9-1-1 and public safety communications. He is also an ordained pastor and chaplain, providing chaplain and peer support services to police officers, firefighters, EMS personnel, and public safety dispatchers. Stephen is the owner of SJJ LLC, a public safety consulting and training firm, and is a sought-after speaker. Additionally, he is currently the Assistant Director of Administration and Training for Cambridge Emergency Communications Department (Cambridge, Massachusetts). He has a B.A. in Psychology, a B.S. in Criminal Justice, and an M.A. in Theological Studies. Stephen holds many certifications, board appointments, and professional memberships. He is a Connecticut native who lives in the Greater Boston Area, who finds joy in drinking coffee, reading books, sitting in his recliner reflecting, and learning new things.

Prizes following session, must be present to win