This week I’m proud to announce a brand-new series of podcasts and blogs for the public safety industry. From a technology perspective, we often talk about the future. In doing that, we often put aside the past, and ignore the present. In any industry, evolution takes place. Be it policies, thought leadership, or technology advances, change and growth is inevitable. Too often are we so concerned about the current state, that we forget about investing in the future. We fail to foster growth and innovation in our industry apprentices, taking on a teach only approach.
By letting this occur, we ignore a valuable opportunity to not only teach the vast pool of young and creative minds at our fingertips, but the valuable experiences from the many years of best practices that we’ve learned over the years, are lost. Additionally, we lose the opportunity to teach ourselves the normal human evolution, and the impact of technology on future trends. For example, when cellular phones were first introduced, I heard many stories of 911 center directors saying, “There is no way we can take 911 calls from those devices, we have no location information on where they are.” Yet today, those devices make up more than 85% of all emergency call traffic in most areas of the country. Fierce Wireless recently quoted CTIA’s report stating that “there were 421.7 million mobile devices connected in 2018, an increase of 21.5 million devices compared to the year prior”. Just imagine the impact of a 911 director stating they were not going to support wireless 911 calls.
I was recently inspired by a podcast I recorded with D. Jeremy DeMar. Jeremy is a fellow ENP, who recently took a position as the executive director of the Mountain Valley Emergency Communications 911 center in New Jersey. The center serves the Borough of New Providence, the City of Summit, and the Township of Millburn in Union County. They are a RapidSOS and Smart911 enabled center, and they are lucky to have Jeremy as an executive director.
About This Weeks FutureMaker™
D. Jeremy DeMar, MA, CPE, ENP is the Executive Director of Mountain Valley Emergency Communications in New Providence, New Jersey. Prior to his appointment at Mountain Valley, Mr. DeMar served as the Director of Emergency Communications for the City of Springfield, Massachusetts.
Involved in the public safety realm since 1989, Jeremy began serving the community as a Fire Explorer with the West Webster Fire District in Western New York. Shortly thereafter, he became a Firefighter with the district, and upon completing his emergency medical technician (EMT) certification, worked commercially and voluntarily on an ambulance. A career change would take Jeremy away from the fire service for a few years, but following the events of September 11, 2001, Jeremy would rejoin the fire service as a volunteer Firefighter/EMT with the Egypt Fire Department (also in Western NY), and shortly thereafter, participate in a civil service exam for Public Safety Dispatcher I. His appointment to the Emergency Communications Department in Rochester, NY occurred in February 2003, an agency he would stay with for almost fifteen more years, initially as a police dispatcher, with promotions into the Dispatcher II (police/fire/ems) and Shift Supervisor positions in the years that followed.
Jeremy is academically and operationally proficient in the areas of Homeland Security, Emergency Management, and Interoperable Communications. He holds undergraduate degrees in Fire Science and Emergency Management, and in March 2017, he completed graduate studies with the Naval Postgraduate School/Center for Homeland Defense and Security, publishing a thesis titled “Next Generation 9-1-1: Policy Implications of Incident Related Imagery (IRI) on the Public Safety Answering Point”. His thesis is available for download on the Homeland Security Digital Library. Jeremy has spoken at a number of local, state, regional, and national conferences about the development and adoption of Next Generation 9-1-1, most recently at APCO 2019 where he sat on a legislative panel with other influential players in the space.
Jeremy’s current service to the profession includes committee work on APCO’s Cybersecurity Committee and NENA’s Wellness & Acute Stress Workgroup. At the federal level, Jeremy serves on the Department of Homeland Security’s First Responders Resource Group (FRRG) and SAFECOM, where he serves as Vice Chair of the NG9-1-1 Workgroup. During his time in Massachusetts, Jeremy was involved in a variety of region-specific initiatives. He regularly attended meetings of the Western Regional Homeland Security Advisory Council (WRHSAC) and was nominated to fill the role of the ESF #2 Communications specific discipline on the council. Jeremy also became involved in the Massachusetts Communications Supervisors Association (MCSA), serving as Regional Co-VP for Hampden and Berkshire Counties. In March of 2019, Jeremy and other members of the MCSA Board joined Congresswoman Norma Torres and other dignitaries in Washington, DC for the formal introduction of the 9-1-1 SAVES Act, legislation which if adopted, will classify the work of America’s 9-1-1 professionals as a Protective Service Occupation. Jeremy’s passion for 9-1-1 professional reclassification is evident in the many social media channels he maintains as well as in white papers he has written.
Enjoy this new series, and if you feel you have what it takes to be a FutureMaker™, or know someone that does, reach out to me directly.
Take care and stay well.