Communicators Track - Presenters

Communicators Track - Presenters

Communicators Track - Presenters


1061/1225 and APCO Presentation

Presentation summary coming soon. 

Presenter: Assistant Deputy Fire Marshal Jeff VanRybroeck 


Preparing for NG

Preparing for Next Generation 9-1-1: How Does GIS Mapping Fit in? An overview of what is coming with NG9-1-1 and how it unlocks new possibilities. With NG9-1-1, we move to geodetic (or devices based) call routing. In order to do that, public safety grade GIS data is needed, but what does that mean to me in the PSAP? In this session we will talk about what NG9-1-1 is, why it matters, and how we are going to get there. Using Guelph as an example, we will talk about what they are doing to get ready and what your authoritative data providers will have to do, and why it’s important to be having conversations with your authoritative data provider (the ones building your GIS mapping).

Presenter: Sharon Koch


Sharon Koch is a Senior Consultant with Esri Canada and spends her days helping organizations prepare for Next Generation 9-1-1. She is an active participant in the CRTC’s Emergency Services Working Group and co-chair of TIF94 Basic 9-1-1 to NG9-1-1 Transition Considerations. She is a director on the board of National Emergency Number Association’s (NENA) Western Canada chapter and participates in 9-1-1 standards development through different NENA working groups. She previously worked for Calgary 9-1-1 in various roles including call taker, dispatcher, supervisor, subject matter expert and business analyst. She has a Masters in Professional Communication and is an Emergency Number Professional. Outside of work she is an avid traveler, attempts to improve at the piano, and enjoys learning other languages (none of which she has yet to perfect).


NENA Update 

Let's delve into the heartbeat of the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) and its pivotal role within the emergency response community. NENA stands as the leading nonprofit organization exclusively devoted to advancing 9-1-1 services. With an unwavering commitment to setting standards, providing essential training, advocating for impactful policy and legislation, and raising public awareness, NENA plays a crucial role in driving forward the effectiveness and progression of emergency communications. As we explore NENA's pivotal position, we'll highlight its pioneering initiatives in defining and leading Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1), charting the course for the future of emergency response.

Presenter: Kate Pataran, NENA Ontario Vice President  and Jamie Toffolo, NENA 2nd Vice President

kate  jamie

Kate Pataran began her career with the Halton Regional Police Service Communications Bureau in 2003 working various roles until her promotion to Communications Supervisor in 2019. In September 2022, Kate earned her Emergency Number Professional designation with NENA and was elected to the NENA Ontario executive later that year.  Kate is the current NENA Ontario Vice President where she is dedicated to advancing 9-1-1 advocacy, standards and training development.  Kate is also an active member of the CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee's Emergency Services Working Group (ESWG) and a member of the National Training Collective.  In 2024, Kate began a new journey as the Canadian ECC Engagement Manager for RapidSOS where she supports Canadian agencies with access to crucial life-saving additional data. 

Jamie has been a member of the Niagara Regional Police Service’s Communications Unit since 2008. She worked as a Communications Training Officer for many years before becoming a Communications Supervisor in 2019. Currently, she is the Quality Assurance and Accreditation Supervisor. Jamie promotes NENA as a great way to collaborate with other industry leaders and pave the way for future 9-1-1 professionals. Jamie proudly earned her ENP designation in 2021 and encourages others to take advantage of the many learning opportunities that NENA has to offer.


Managing Stress and Performance in the Workplace

Learning strategies to combat stress in the workplace. Building habits to perform on the job and away from the job.

Presenter: Michael Williams Bell, Shawn Gilmer, and Mark Fitzgerald

bell shawn  fitz


NG9-1-1 Implementation and Go Live Lessons Learnt

Presentation summary coming soon. 

Presenter: Tareq Cora and Tom Paniak


Tareq Cora is a military veteran and emergency communications professional for the past 15 years, acting as a subject matter expert and a key contributor of public safety answering points to the Emergency Services Working Group (ESWG).  An experienced systems and network architect involved in the design and implementation of cyber-security compliant systems relating to NG9-1-1, dispatch, alerting, radio and technical operations.


Tom Paniak is a seasoned telecommunications Subject Matter Expert and strategist with 23 years of experience, focusing on wireline and wireless 9-1-1 technologies. As a certified Emergency Number Professional by NENA he takes an active leadership role in the 9-1-1 industry in Canada, working with  several national initiatives through the CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee. In his current role at Bell Canada as a Senior Manager and Network Architect for Emergency Services, Tom is responsible for leading the transition of the existing 9-1-1 network to Next Generation 9-1-1 in Bell Canada’s Serving territory.


Empowered 9-1-1: Shift Toxic Comm Centre Culture to Resilient Teams That Thrive!


A workshop for frontline staff and leaders in Emergency Communications Centres

“This place is toxic, and we need to change the culture!” Sound familiar? You’re not alone. The Public Safety Communications industry is facing staffing crisis, immense change, and the impacts of a system without enough like we’ve never seen before. Workplace culture is suffering and so are our frontline teams and their leaders. 

We’re experiencing things like:

  • A major increase in illness, mental health injuries, and absenteeism
  • Chronic short staffing
  • It’s tough to recruit and retain the “right fit” staff who want to stay
  • Conflict, conflict everywhere!
  • Constant change and the challenge to keep up
  • Not Enoughness Syndrome – not enough time, money, resources, or support
  • You solve one problem only for another to pop up in its place
  • You’re tired and you’re BURNING OUT!

It’s the ingredients list in a recipe for toxic workplace culture.

In this workshop, we’ll unpack the contributors of toxic culture and remove the complexity for tackling problems that can seem unsolvable. You’ll be empowered with awareness and tools to use right away to navigate conflict, build resilience, and stay well as an individual, and to use with your teams to recognize, disrupt, and change the game for “how we do things around here”.

You’ll leave with insight, knowledge, and actionable steps to turn down the toxic, overwhelm, and burnout… and turn up the resilience, impact, and results you want with more ease. 

Presenter: Cindy Sparrow


Cindy Sparrow is a public safety leader, international consultant, educator & speaker with 28 years’ industry experience as a 9-1-1 Dispatcher, flight & ground Paramedic, trainer & QA/QI specialist, and Deputy Chief leading teams in 9-1-1, Fire, EMS, and Police. She’s the NENA Canada West President, Past President of APCO Canada, and former Director with Alberta E9-1-1 Advisory Association.

Cindy is a personal mastery junky and lifelong learner with a master’s degree in leadership, a certified EQi practitioner, trauma and resilience educator, and is completing certification for Conscious EFT™ practitioner.

As a disruptor, she’s here to change the game in our industry and for the people working within it. She’s a fierce advocate for the “first, first responders”, mental health, leadership, and much needed systemic change. As CEO & Founder of Cindy Sparrow International, and her expertise and compassion for people, she delivers consulting, education, and facilitates transformation for leaders and their teams so they can achieve massive success and build resilience in the face of constant change, stress, and trauma.