On Sunday August 7th, the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) kicked off their 77th Annual Conference & Expo. Over 5,000 attendees arrived in Philadelphia for this event. They were here to improve their existing skills, learn about the current issues that impact the 9-1-1 and public safety communications industry, explore new product and technologies and connect with people from all sectors of the industry.
As an active leader in the public safety community Comcast is proud to be the sponsor of the APCO 2011 Welcome Reception. The event was held at the Franklin Institute on Sunday evening and as I arrived at the Franklin I had the pleasure of re-connecting with old friends, industry leaders and partners. These public safety professionals are the heart and soul of the 9-1-1 community and their hard work ensures calls for help to 9-1-1 are handled in a professional and effective manner. After spending some time talking with the attendees and colleagues APCO's President Bill Carrow provided opening remarks and introduced Susan Jin Davis, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships to address the crowd and welcome them to Philadelphia. Susan touched on Comcast's on-going leadership in the 9-1-1 community as well as our industry efforts to move beyond the legacy 9-1-1 system and into Next Generation 9-1-1.
On Monday August 8th APCO's opening session honored the 2011 PSAP Award Winners. I got the chance to meet Shayl McCormick from the City of Tucson Communications Division, APCO's 2011 Line Supervisor of the Year. Shayl was the supervisor on duty on January 8th when a gunman attempted to kill Rep. Gabby Gifford, while wounding and killing many others. Shayl remained calm and managed a situation of large magnitude as well as the dispatches on duty through the skills, knowledge and leadership abilities polished throughout her 10-year career. I'm proud Comcast was able to recognize and present Shayl APCO's 2011 Line Supervisor of the Year award. Once again I congratulate Shayl and all of APCO's 2011 PSAP Award winners for a job well done.
Once the award presentation concluded Philadelphia's own Vince Papale addressed the crowd as the keynote speaker. Vince's inspirational story from a season ticket holder to a walk-on for the Philadelphia Eagles provided a backdrop for the public safety communications officials to hold on to your dreams and be invincible in everything they do.