National Academies of Emergency Dispatch: Navigator Conference 2013

5-Star-Training-on-a-DimeNavigator has become one of the premiere 9-1-1 dispatch conferences.  This year’s conference was held in Salt Lake City, Utah.  I was asked by a coworker to present at this years National Academies of Emergency Dispatch’s Navigator Conference. My coworker has presented several times and thought I would be a good fit because of my passion for the subject.  We called this years presentation, “5 Star Training on a Dime Budget”.

Most 9-1-1 centers have very slim budgets and large training requirements.  My employer VECC has allowed me to implement many freeware solutions.  Our presentation focused on a few freeware products that have made a huge difference in our training programs.

Here is an overview of our presentation.


Road blocks – People and resources

–Bridge it or work around

Road blocks will spring out of every nook and crevice.  Be prepared to bridge it or work around it.

You will have people come out of the woodwork who will surprise you by either being a champion of your project or a roadblock. Be prepared to over come the fear of change.

IT Requirements

Learn about your data network.  Learn about what you have and what can be done.

Learn about what assets you have to work with.

Find an IT person to champion your idea.


Back-end People and Front-end People.

What do you need?  Support for Hardware and Software.  Is your IT person a member or your organization or an outsider (integrated/separate/outsourced)

Support for users.  Training, Upkeep,  A champion.

You will need to assemble a team of people from IT to End User.

1. MediaWiki and the VECCipedia

Veccipedia has been a super successful implementation of a wiki that is used for documentation and training.  You can read more about it here.

We showed how we used a wiki as our training hub.

2. Google Docs

VECC has been using google docs for more than 5 years as a way to share information, training and scheduling.  We also included Google Drive

3. Claroline

Claroline is a classroom training software we use to create training programs.  It includes career paths, testing and training.

4. Moodle

Moodle is another classroom training software.  9-1-1 employees don’t get to experience much offline training. They usually are forced to self train at their desks.

5. CamStudio

Camstudio is free software we use to do screen capture training.  It allows us to record, annotate and record audio of a computer desktop.  We use this a lot in training on Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) Software

6. Microsoft Office

My co-presenter had built a master piece of tracking DOR’s on trainees using Excel spreadsheet.

I think our presentation was successful. We had a standing room only crowd of more than 200.  We received excellent feedback and audience participation. For me the highlight was when several people in the crowd had mentioned that they had visited VECC and had been inspired by our Wiki and went back to their agencies and created their own.