Urgent Matters

After a decade, an unwanted—but fortunate—absence from APCO 2014

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IWCE's Urgent Communications Editor Donny Jackson will miss this week's APCO 2014 show in New Orleans, but he is hopeful that it will allow him to attend many more of these events in the future.

It’s hard to believe that it has been a decade since I attended my first Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) conference in 2004. Even harder for me to accept is that this year will mark the first time I’ve missed the annual APCO show since joining the publication now known as IWCE’s Urgent Communications.

Believe me, this absence is not by choice. With the all the cool technology demonstrations/announcements scheduled, a terrific lineup of educational sessions, and a chance to catch up with so many friends in the industry in a great city—New Orleans—I would love to be at APCO 2014, if at all possible.

But it is not possible this year. Plans for surgery at the end of June to address a pinched nerve required testing that revealed some heart issues, which resulted in me having bypass surgery a little more than two weeks ago. Not surprisingly, traveling to New Orleans this week did not fit in my doctor’s recuperation plans, so I’m staying home in Wisconsin this week.

While I’m bummed that I can’t attend APCO this year, the rest of the story is positive. I’m fortunate that doctors found the problem and were able to fix it. In addition, the recovery process is going smoother than I could have possibly imagined; I’ve been walking several miles per day for more than a week and feel better physically than I have in a long time.

For those who have sent get-well wishes, thank you—the support is greatly appreciated, and I am humbled that so many people in the industry have taken the time to communicate such thoughts.

Although I am not in New Orleans this week, IWCE’s Urgent Communications editorial interests will be represented well at the APCO show by Jill Nolin and Kimberlee Payton-Jones, two key staff members who work in our Atlanta office. If you see Jill or Kimberlee, please feel free to share news tips, strategic ideas or just helpful background about public-safety communications as they continue to learn more about the sector.

Meanwhile, my goal is that skipping the APCO show this year will allow me to attend many more in the future, so I can once again pester everyone with questions that hopefully help advance the dialog for public-safety communications a little during this critical and intriguing time in the industry.

For those who are in New Orleans, enjoy the beignets!

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Insights from Donny Jackson concerning the most important news, trends and issues.

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Donny Jackson

Donny Jackson is editor of Urgent Communications magazine. Before joining UC in 2002, he covered telecommunications for four years as a freelance writer and as news editor for Telephony magazine....
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