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Annual NAVIGATOR conference recognizes accomplishments of outstanding emergency telecommunicators

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NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. —The International Academies of Emergency Dispatch® (IAED) has recognized the remarkable achievements of emergency dispatchers and the contributions of dedicated professionals at its annual NAVIGATOR conference, held April 24–26 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. At the event, IAED leaders presented awards to exemplary individuals, each of whom epitomized the effectiveness of the Priority Dispatch Protocols™ in emergency response.

At the conference’s Opening Session on April 24, IAED Director of Operations Pam Stewart and IAED Fire/Medical Program Manager Mike Thompson presented the prestigious Dispatcher of the Year Award to Katerine McNulty of REDCOM in Santa Rosa, California. Last year, she provided instructions to a frantic caller to escape a fire in her home during some of the worst wildfires in the history of the state. Some of McNulty’s improvisational instructions were even later added to the most recent version of the Fire Priority Dispatch System™ (FPDS®).

“[McNulty] embodies the ethics, standards, and quality of the [IAED],” Stewart said.

“She never gave up on the caller,” Thompson added. “She never gave any indication that the situation was hopeless. The things she did will go on to save other lives and help other people.”

McNulty also participates in training and quality assurance at her agency. In her free time, she volunteers rescuing injured and trapped animals.

“I was grasping at straws trying to help her,” McNulty said about the call. “I was trying my hardest to visualize a way out for her.”

Also at the Opening Session, Associate Director of Instructor Services Bonni Stockman presented the Instructor of the Year Award to Barry Bagwell for his years of committed service. He has been an instructor for 19 years.

“[Bagwell] has mentored countless and continues to be a friend after,” Stockman said. “He has a way of making a big impact while quietly going about doing good. He is very dependable, dedicated, and truly a professional in representing the IAED and Priority Dispatch™.”

This distinction and award humbled Bagwell.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to be associated with the IAED and Priority Dispatch,” he said. “This is very special.”

The Opening Session was also a chance to congratulate agencies that recently attained the status of Accredited Center of Excellence (ACE). The IAED presented 18 such agencies to the audience, including a new tri-ACE center, Hanover Emergency Communications in Hanover, Virginia.

Another highly anticipated accolade, the Dr. Jeff J. Clawson Leadership Award, came on the final day of the conference at the Closing Session. This annual award is given to someone who inspires others and who typifies the values and mission of the IAED and the emergency dispatch profession. Dr. Clawson was unable to attend the conference, but he prepared a video presentation where he announced this year’s recipient, James Gummett of London Ambulance Service.

In addition to recognizing these individuals, NAVIGATOR was also an opportunity for the record-setting 1,600-plus attendees to network with colleagues and learn best practices from experts in the field of emergency dispatch and public safety. Over the three days, there were more than 175 educational sessions in 13 different tracks. A total of 183 speakers presented at NAVIGATOR, with attendees coming from more than 15 countries.

NAVIGATOR participants also celebrated successes together and mingled at a variety of receptions and other gatherings.

About the IAED
The IAED is the world’s foremost standard-setting, certification-granting organization for emergency communications with over 66,000 members in 46 countries. More than 3,500 communication centers in 23 languages employ IAED’s protocols and training in medical, fire, police, and emergency nurse triage dispatching. Of those, nearly 200 comm. centers have become Accredited Centers of Excellence (ACEs).

About Priority Dispatch
Priority Dispatch is a research-and-development company contracted to create products for the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch. PDC sells dispatch software and provides training and certification for its users.