Breakout Sessions

Vendor Provided Training Opportunities

All of the sessions in the Vendor Training Opportunities track will be presented by conference exhibitors. Sessions presented by vendor representatives may reflect to some extent vendor opinions relative to topics presented.

Session A - Monday, April 29, 2019 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

A1 ECN and SECB 101

This is an excellent session for those new to public safety communications governance and a great refresher for those that have been around. Attendees of this session will learn about the Statewide Emergency Communications Board, regional Emergency Communications Board governance, and the Department of Public Safety’s Emergency Communication Networks. Panelists will review the functions of each body, how their work intersects, and how it differs.

A2 IPAWS SOP, Template Development and Testing

You have your IPAWS alerting authority, but haven’t documented the; why, when or who in your organization would use it, and what to do after the message is sent. This session takes you through:
- A comprehensive SOP that you can tailor to your needs. It is written to address the requirements of both the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP) and NENA Drills and Exercises Information Document’s.
- Writing templates to tailor messages to the known hazards in your jurisdiction.
- Working with the Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) laboratory practice your procedures.
- Testing your system, through both live and test environments.

A3 RF Site Radio Analyzer Discussion

In this open discussion, we will talk about the benefits and the challenges that groups are seeing across the state in using an Over-The-Air RF Analyzer. Discussion topics include: Costs, Man-power, implementing IP Network and others.

A4 Next Generation First Responder

DHS S&T launched the Next Generation First Responder Apex program in 2015 to adapt existing technology, develop new capabilities and integrate next-generation technologies to expand first responder mission effectiveness and safety. The NGFR Apex program works with responders across the country to ensure they are better protected, connected and fully aware, regardless of the hazards they encounter. To make that vision possible, NGFR is partnering with industry to design an integrated, standards-based environment for first responder technologies.

The Apex Next Generation First Responder (NGFR) program seeks to develop a scalable and modular ensemble that includes an enhanced duty uniform, personal protective equipment, wearable computing and sensing technology, and robust voice and data communication networks. To do so, NGFR will harness the best existing and emerging technologies and integrate them in a well-defined and standards-based open architecture. By providing core capabilities suitable for all jurisdictions and disciplines, as well as specialized technology more appropriate for metropolitan areas, NGFR’s cutting-edge technologies will accelerate decision-making and improve response. With enhanced protection, communication and situational awareness, first responders can better safeguard lives and property before, during, and after incidents. Additionally, as part of the NGFR, S&T launched the Responder Technology Alliance, bringing together responders, industry, federal agencies, research institutions, academia and other stakeholders to focus on the most difficult technology challenges along the road to identifying the “Responder of the Future.”

A5 PSAP Media Training

Imagine this: A telecommunicator answers a 9-1-1 line. The caller says, “I’ve been calling 9-1-1 for 10 minutes and keep getting a recorded message saying the number is no longer in service.” Other 9-1-1 calls are coming through seamlessly. A second telecommunicator pulls out their personal cell phone and places a test call to 9-1-1, only to receive a “fast-busy” signal.

What are the best next steps to take? Report it to the 9-1-1 service provider? Send a message on social media alerting folks that 9-1-1 is “down”? Call your neighboring PSAP to see what they are experiencing? Call ECN? Or just ignore it, because eventually, things will return to normal? This session will provide some basic tips and tools that PSAPs can implement quickly and effectively to not only CONTROL the MESSAGE but keep all interested parties informed--regardless of the magnitude of the disruption.

A6 Real Life, Day-to-Day Interoperability Challenges

This interactive session will discuss communication challenges faced by emergency responders every day. We will highlight common events where interoperability technologies and procedures worked well and touch on some items when it failed. Audience input and participation will be strongly encouraged! The target audience will be dispatch, EMS, law enforcement & fire personnel.

A7 Failsafe SD-WANs for E911 Call Centers

- Why SD-WANs
- Why Failsafe SD-WANs
- Failsafe SD-WAN technology
- Failsafe SD-WAN Enabling E911 Call Centers
- Case Study: Maricopa Region 911
- Questions & Answer Session

Session B - Monday, April 29, 2019 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

B1 Strategies for Engaging Elected and Senior Officials

Minnesota's SECB Governance Structure is locally driven. County and locality officials are charged with making essential decisions regarding public safety communications. The current public safety communication environment is highly technical and may pose challenges for elected officials. In order to be successful in implementing these initiatives, they must rely on subject matter, technical, and operational experts to guide their decision making process. This facilitated round table discussion will highlight partnerships between responders, technical staff, and elected officials toward the common goal of improving and optimizing public safety communications.

B2 SECB Standards Review

What are Statewide Emergency Communications Board (SECB) Standards? Why are they being renumbered, reclassified, and reformatted? This breakout session will provide you with updates about the current status of SECB Standards.

B3 Encryption Best Practices

This session will explore the pros and cons of using voice encryption in public safety radio communications, encryption types commonly used in P25 voice radio networks, best practices to implement encryption, technology needed to support encryption, and interoperability challenges resulting from encrypted radio communication.

B4 Wireless Location Standards

Join us for a panel discussion on developments in 9-1-1 location accuracy. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon have committed to adding new location-based tools with existing wireless 9-1-1 location technologies. Meanwhile, Device-Based Hybrid (DBH) location technology solutions used by companies such as Apple and Google are beginning to take shape. In addition, several vendors in the industry are changing the way we see call location data. With these developments unfolding nationwide, what does this mean for Minnesota? This session is aimed towards local PSAP personnel and how these changes will affect their dispatch centers in the short-term, as well as the long-term.

B5 IPAWS for ICS & First Responders

What happens when the Incident Commander needs to make the decision to warn the public? This session covers what would be the best method from a small to a big incident that you need to provide information about and when to warn the public. Focusing on the decision making process of; how best to communicate the hazard to the public with what action they need to take.

B6 NPSBN Wireless Broadband Program Update

Coverage and Collaboration are two objectives that have been high on the list for MN and what First Responders need from this program. This is a program update. We will discuss how the Wireless Broadband committee is changing to support our governance initiatives around coverage and collaboration. This is an outlook for the next year or two which will align with the strategic plan that is currently in place for ECN.

B7 Cybersecurity 101: What Every PSAP Needs to Know

Is your emergency call handling and management system protected from a potential cyberattack? Would you know what to do if your PSAP was targeted? PSAPs in many states have fallen victim to malicious attacks by hackers able to disrupt and crash emergency 9-1-1 service. In this informative session, you will learn what kind of threats are out there, what makes a 9-1-1 call handling and management system vulnerable to an attack, what your PSAP should have in place to stay one step ahead, and how to recover from an attack.

Session C - Monday, April 29, 2019 4:10 PM - 5:10 PM

C1 Strategic Plan Implementation at Regional and Local Level

This facilitated round table discussion promotes long-range planning for all emergency communication initiatives, both locally and statewide. Members of all seven regions worked together to develop the SECB's Strategic Plan for the next three years. The SECB Governance Structure is driven by Minnesota's seven regional emergency communications boards. Each region plays a key role in bringing the strategic plan initiatives to life. This discussion will focus on regional efforts and planning in-line with each SECB approved strategic plan goal.

C2 GIS Project Status and Future

What is the status of Next Generation 9-1-1 GIS project? What GIS data is being prepared and collected? Join ECN and MnGeo to discuss who are the partners developing the GIS data, how it’s being reviewed, and what the products are that will be developed. Those in attendance will find out when will these products be ready, and finally, what is the maintenance process for the data. It will be a GEO-tastic good time!

C3 MTUG Meeting

This session will be the quarterly meeting of the Minnesota chapter of the Motorola Trunked Users Group. Attendees will hear a presentation on subscriber equipment roadmaps. All are welcome.

C4 Statewide CAD-to-CAD

This presentation will provide participants with an overview of the ECN sponsored CAD-to-CAD Interoperability project that was initiated in the Central ESB Region during the first quarter of 2019. Several other examples of CAD-to-CAD interoperability occurring at a local level will also be examined. The session will conclude with a discussion on the viability of implementing CAD-to-CAD interoperability on a statewide level.

C5 Including Interoperable Communications in All Exercises

After Action Reports frequently cite communication failures yet communications training is frequently overlooked or saved for an infrequent communications-specific COMMEX. What if we incorporated communications training into other exercises? This session will explore incorporating communications as a collateral component of other exercises.

C6 IPAWS Committee Meeting

This will be the chance you will have if you haven’t been to an IPAWS Committee meeting to join in and find out what is going on with alert and warnings and how to help shape warning policy’s in the State of Minnesota.

C7 TBD

TBD

Session D - Tuesday, April 30, 2019 10:15 AM - 11:15 AM

D1 ARMER Radio Encryption

Migration from legacy DES-OFB to AES, ideas for key management such as Over the Air Rekeying, and new encryption loading devices.

D2 Overcoming Location Challenges with Multiline Telephone Systems (MLTS)

Today, many PSAPs struggle to locate callers in large campus and corporate environments due to non-compliance with the MN Statute stating that Multi-Line Telephone System (MLTS) owners must provide callback numbers and an emergency response locations. This non-compliance may slow down response time to multi-level organizations such as schools, businesses, and assisted living centers. Join us for a session going over these requirements and strategies for making local organizations compliant with MN statutes.

D3 IV&D Study Results

The City of St. Cloud conducted a pilot project using Integrated Voice & Data (IV&D) that utilizes limited data on the ARMER system. City staff conducted the pilot using APX radios that have the IV&D features, GPS location, and Over the Air Programming (OTAP). City staff will discuss the final project results and potential uses/governance of IV&D.

D4 Evaluating Cell Service

Coverage is a primary goal for MN when it comes to the FirstNet initiative. This session is about the methods of testing for coverage, as well as the governance and standards of evaluating coverage. MN has expectations above and beyond the requirements put forth by the federal government. How will MN accomplish the coverage goals set forth in the State Plan?

D5 Neighboring State Interoperability

This session explores interstate land mobile radio interoperability. Discussion will include explaining what is working today, what our greatest challenges are, and what is being done to mitigate those challenges. This session will be of particular interest to border counties that may at some point engage in interstate mutual aid.

D6 ASL/Deaf & Hard of Hearing Awareness

This course offers insight to dispatchers on how to communicate effectively using text-to-9-1-1 with members of the deaf and hard of hearing community. A representative from the deaf and hard of hearing community will participate in this presentation to address the grammatical difference between American Sign Language (ASL) and English and provide guidance to assist dispatchers in becoming proficient in texting with individuals whose native language is American Sign Language.

D7 CAD to CAD Interoperability and Shared CAD Systems

Break down barriers between today’s CAD, GIS, and stakeholder silos and work more closely than ever before by leveraging the power of the cloud. Learn how modern technology, coupled with public safety grade IP connectivity, can enable faster response, improve situational awareness, and protect first responders.

Session E - Tuesday, April 30, 2019 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

E1 Roundtable Examples of Strong Partnerships

This facilitated round table discussion focusses on operational partnerships. Whether you are an agency with limited resources or a responder with extraordinary capabilities, communities will benefit from a strong partnership. In addition to traditional response agencies, non-traditional services such as GIS, public information officers and Emergency Management personnel have also become integral to a coordinated response. This session will illustrate successful partnerships that have been forged within selected Minnesota Emergency Communications Governance Regions.

E2 WBB Standards – What is Needed with FirstNet?

The FirstNet Authority has plans to issue a Deployable Guide, and a Priority Level Guide. What is it all about? Do we need additional standards or agreements to make the system work?

E3 800 Paging: What works; what are the challenges?

Discussion on current technology used for paging over ARMER. Presenters have in-field experience using 800-MHz paging equipment. Will also discuss on paging via APX radio in the field.

E4 Essential Project Management Skills for PSAP Personnel

Did your chief just assign you to be the Project Manager for the upcoming new CAD project? Has the panic set in yet? Learn from a project management expert the phases of a project and the basic skills and requirements needed to be a successful project manager.

E5 Exercising PSAP COOPs

The majority of Minnesota PSAPs have now completed their initial COOP. However, this is just the beginning; training on and exercising that Plan is critical. While it is hoped you never have to activate your COOP, it is important to be prepared so you are not caught off-guard.
This breakout session will cover methods for exercising your Plan to help you determine shortcomings and successes. We will also discuss ways to train with everyday tasks.
PSAP personnel who have already completed a COOP exercise will be among the panelists ready to share their experience.

E6 IPAWS 2019: What is new today?

In 2016 the FCC set forth many new rules for wireless emergency alerts (WEA) that will enhance the way you can inform the public. Come and hear from the major Alert, Warning and Notification vendors on how May 1st their interfaces change to meet the new rules.

E7 Network Migration to IP and Effective Ways to Deploy Higher Capacities

Ronil Prasad, Sr. Director, Solutions Marketing and Business Development, Aviat Networks

The session looks at the most common methods of migrating networks from TDM to IP and explores the considerations and benefits of each method. The session will focus on the use of higher modulation, wider channels and the use of multiple paths and examine which scenario is the most effective based on the topology, requirements and growth plans. The session will also examine the capacity plan side of network design and how best to design networks that can organically evolve.

Session F - Tuesday, April 30, 2019 2:40 PM - 3:40 PM

F1 The State of Public Safety Communications in Minnesota: Where did we come from and where are we at now?

This facilitated roundtable discussion will highlight the advances in public safety communications that have occurred over the past decade. Improvements across all five lanes of the Interoperability Continuum (Governance, SOPs, Technology, Training & Exercises, and Usage) will be discussed. Representatives from a number of Regional Emergency Communications Boards (ECBs) and Emergency Services Boards (ESBs) will share some of their success stories and provide insight on the positive impact that these actions have had on public safety communication capabilities in their communities.

F2 Leveraging Grants

Join us for a panel discussion regarding plan development for regional emergency communication grant requests. In the past, it has been recommended that regions have a 5-year plan for grant projects. Planning is important for sub-grantees in order to ensure they maximize their funding potential and that they spend down all of their awarded funds. Led by the ECN Grants Manager, this panel will include members who have been successful in their planning efforts and are willing to share their methods.

F3 Radio Programming Updates (Double Session)

This session will cover features within the APX Customer Programming Software (CPS) that go above and beyond basic programming. Some features include: Bluetooth, Quick Call II paging, instant recall and conventional RSSI display. Attendees are encouraged to bring their programming computer and an APX subscriber to follow along during the session.

F4 Navigating the FirstNet Evaluation and Implementation Process

Based on the Televate Workbook. Coverage is a primary goal for MN when it comes to the FirstNet initiative. This session is about the methods of testing for coverage, as well as the governance and standards of evaluating coverage.

F5 GIS Training: How to Read Map Data

A brief introduction to geographic information system (GIS). GIS is used to capture, store and analyze spatial information (location). How can the data be viewed? How is it being used in Next Generation 9-1-1?

F6 BCA Usage Case Study

Drew Evans, Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, will give a presentation on how they use technology in the field to do finger printing, DNA testing, and even help track missing persons. Some of the technology is still in development, but the use of a mobile network is increasingly important to the work they do.

F7 Cyber Security – Protecting The Next Gen PSAP

Discuss various NG/ESInet deployments (Individual PSAP verse Hosted verse Hybrid models) and how to utilize industry “best practices” to secure the PSAP and Next Generation Core Services.

Session G - Tuesday, April 30, 2019 3:50 PM - 4:50 PM

G1 Shared Services Governance: Pros, Cons, Lessons Learned

This facilitated round table discussion will explore opportunities for collaboration and cooperation on shared public safety communications infrastructure. Current regional efforts highlighted will include shared dispatch operations and infrastructure, call handling equipment, CAD, logging, and continuity of operations considerations. Representatives from a number of regional ECB and ESBs will share some of their success stories and insight on the positive impact these initiatives have had on their communities, both financially and operationally.

G2 Evaluating Regional Disaster Communication Capabilities & Developing a Plan for Their Use

This facilitated roundtable discussion will highlight the evolution of the state’s Communications Unit (COMU) program over the past few years and explore some of the actions that can be implemented along all five lanes of the Interoperability Continuum (Governance, SOPs, Technology, Training & Exercises, and Usage) to take the program to the ‘next level’.

G3 Radio Programming Updates (Double Session)

This session will cover features within the APX Customer Programming Software (CPS) that go above and beyond basic programming. Some features include: Bluetooth, Quick Call II paging, instant recall and conventional RSSI display. Attendees are encouraged to bring their programming computer and an APX subscriber to follow along during the session.

G4 PSAP of the Future, Roundtable Discussion

How will FirstNet impact the PSAP and what should we be doing to prepare for in “the PSAP of the future?” We will propose a scenario for attendees to play out an incident using FirstNet and other tools to showcase newer or upcoming technologies. The First Responder will have numerous sensors on his uniform, he will also have a Voice activated personal assistant named Simon.

G5 School Safety Efforts, Pilot Results

The Tri-County School Safety Pilot Project is a public safety initiative initiated by the Greater St. Cloud Public Safety Foundation and GeoComm in collaboration with local Tri-County area high schools, county 9-1-1 emergency dispatch centers, the City of St. Cloud PD along with Rave Mobile Safety.

The Tri-County School Safety Pilot project’s primary objective is to provide the ability for better situational awareness, faster and improved responses to incidents, and overall enhanced safety in all high schools (and area learning centers) within five cooperating school districts located in Stearns, Benton, and Sherburne counties. This was made possible by providing:
Rave’s Panic App to school personnel to increase the ease of calling 9-1-1 while alerting select administrators and Security Resource Officers (SROs)
GeoComm Dispatch Map software in 9-1-1 emergency dispatch centers along with integration to the RapidSOS Clearinghouse to display the more accurate wireless device location when compared with the typical wireless tower / GPS location coordinates
2D indoor map data layers of select high schools that display room numbers and names, entrance locations and door numbers, and the overall school layouts for use in GeoComm’s Dispatch Map software

Our ultimate goal is to help save lives and protect property through location-based solutions to those individuals on the frontlines – the telecommunicators, dispatchers and first responders – working every day to keep communities safe.

G6 IPAWS SOP, Template Development and Testing

You have your IPAWS alerting authority, but haven’t documented the; why, when or who in your organization would use it, and what to do after the message is sent. This session takes you through:
- A comprehensive SOP that you can tailor to your needs. It is written to address the requirements of both the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP) and NENA Drills and Exercises Information Document’s.
- Writing templates to tailor messages to the known hazards in your jurisdiction.
- Working with the Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) laboratory practice your procedures.
- Testing your system, through both live and test environments.

G7 Thousands of ECCs are receiving Lifesaving Device Location and Data from Smartphones; Is yours?

ECCs have been promised major improvements associated with 9-1-1 calls: more accurate location information, location-based call routing, multimedia to the PSAP, and much more. Citizens, reliant on smartphones and other IoT devices, expect their data to be available to public safety in an emergency. This session looks at how ECC managers, supervisors and telecommunicators can utilize data from a LIS (Location Information Server) and ADR (Additional Data Repository) in their ECC workflow. By analyzing real-life case studies, 9-1-1 professionals will leave with a new understanding of the possibilities of Device based location and additional data.

Session H - Wednesday, May 1, 2019 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM

H1 CASE STUDY: Merrimack Valley Residential Gas Explosions

On Sept. 13, 2018, the over-pressurization of a low pressure natural gas line servicing over 8,500 meters in the Merrimack Valley region of Northeast Massachusetts resulted in a series of fires and explosions that literally shook three communities. This no-notice event tested every aspect of emergency communications, mutual aid and response plans in the region and state, including the Commonwealth’s newly deployed NG911 system. Massachusetts is one of the only states with a true statewide i3 Next Generation 911 system. The system was fully deployed in early 2018, and the 911 Telecommunicators on duty during the gas explosions were put through the paces with an unprecedented surge of simultaneous and consecutive 911 calls from three different jurisdictions. In the hours and days that followed, the incredible response of public safety agencies from across the Commonwealth, and from neighboring states, tested the ability to coordinate, rapidly deploy, and effectively use available emergency communications resources.

Session I - Wednesday, May 1, 2019 9:45 AM - 11:15 AM

I1 CASE STUDY: Hurricane Florence, North Carolina

The State of North Carolina was hit with its worst natural disaster in recorded history on September 14, 2018. The lessons learned, specifically in the communications section, provided tactical communicators, PSAPs, and radio system professionals with an immense amount of valuable information to prepare for the next time an uninvited guest arrives on shore.

In the days leading up to the landfall of Hurricane Florence, North Carolina Emergency Management assembled the State Emergency Response Team (SERT). The Communications Unit of the SERT was put together to prepare for, respond to, and recover from communications problems due to this disaster.

This Case Study will cover communications-based actions during the planning, response, and recovery phase of a major disaster. It will address statewide radio system performance, backups, failures, lessons learned, PSAP planning, backup processes, limitations, and Telecommunicator well-being issues faced during a major disaster.

Finally, the session will speak on overall ESF2 (Emergency Support Function 2 – Communications) actions during an event of this size.