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Monday, March 13, 2017

Conference Keynote Speakers

We are getting so excited about the conference coming up in Overland Park! It is less than a month away! Our conference lineup is looking great. Here is some information about our keynote speakers and the conference schedule has been posted on our website. We sincerely hope to see you there!

“Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way” – Leadership is more than being an appointed supervisor. Everyone in your communications center has the possibility for leadership. This one of a kind leadership class will address leadership at all levels of your organization and provide attendees with ways to improve the leadership in your communications center. By Tony Harrison

Tony Harrison – Tony is the founder of The Public Safety Group. Tony has spent more than twenty five years in communications, working in small centers to major metropolitan communications centers. He is a Certified Emergency Number Professional, has a BA in Criminal Justice and a MA in Political Science and Urban Affairs. During his time in the communications center he has served as a Call Taker, Dispatcher, Communications Training Officer and Communications Training Coordinator. He was also a Communications Supervisor for 6 years. Tony has been awarded numerous letters of commendations during his service for his professionalism and attention to duty during an officer involved shooting, the federal building bombing and service on numerous department boards. Tony was the on-duty shift supervisor during the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City in April 1995 when 168 people were killed during the largest domestic terrorist event in US history. Tony served as a reserve Deputy Sheriff for the Canadian County Sheriff's Office in Oklahoma for more than 20 years and retired at the rank of Captain. This gives him a very unique insight into BOTH sides of the radio - the needs of the officer on the ground and the demands on communication personnel. During his service he was awarded the Medal of Valor for his involvement during a fatal officer involved shooting of a homicide, kidnapping and rape suspect. Tony has been active in both APCO and NENA serving as a state chapter president and numerous committees at a national level including the Professional Development Committee, Project 35, project 37, Homeland Security Task Force, policies, procedures & training committee and currently serve on the Commercial Advisor Council. In 2012 he was awarded life membership in APCO international.

Dealing with Burnout & Managing Stress By Dr. Jenny Prohaska

Dr. Jennifer Prohaska – Dr. Prohaska is a native Kansan. She completed her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Kansas in 2013. She completed her residency at University of Kansas Medical Center with a specialty in neuro-rehabilitation medicine, where her primary focus was addressing the immediate psychological needs of individuals undergoing major physical and emotional trauma in an inpatient medical setting. After completion of her residency, also in 2013, she was hired as a Clinical Faculty Member at the University of Kansas Cancer Centers where her duties were to address the needs of terminally ill individuals with a variety of cancers, and specializing in brain cancer. In late 2013 she was presented with the opportunity to return to a trauma medicine-related practice when she entered private practice as a police and public safety psychologist. Since that time she has worked primarily with individuals in law enforcement and the fire service in both clinical and educational settings. She enjoys complex casework that still allows her to use her medical knowledge while helping people return to their respective service positions. She very much enjoys teaching, risk assessment and evaluations, leadership coaching, and using psychological knowledge and skill to help organizations address complex personnel problems and create positive organizational change.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

My Personal Invitation to the Spring APCO Conference


First, please allow me to introduce myself.  I am Elora Forshee and I have the honor of serving as your 2017 Kansas APCO President.  I am the Director of Sedgwick County 911 in Wichita, Kansas, leading a staff of 95 amazing call takers, dispatchers, supervisors, and support personnel – truly, I am in awe of them daily.  I have been with Sedgwick County for 12 years, starting as a dispatcher and working my way up through the organization.  I have coordinated the hosting of several APCO conferences and am serving my first term on the APCO Board.  I am excited to have a role, albeit a small one, in helping dispatchers to develop into the public safety professionals that their very important job demands them to be.

If you are not aware, our spring APCO conference is right around the corner, April 10-12, in Overland Park, Kansas and I want to personally invite you and your fellow dispatchers and team members to attend.  I have attended APCO conferences as a front line dispatcher, as a Supervisor, and now as a Director and have found value at every step.  As a dispatcher I found that I brought back tools that not only fortified me in this tough job but helped me to build morale and enthusiasm in my department.  As a supervisor I learned ways to help my team to stay strong and diligent in helping the citizens and field personnel we serve.  As a Director I am able to get a view of the big picture beyond our county lines to help me stay on top of industry trends and keep my elected officials informed.  And at every level, I always appreciate the networking that I do at an APCO conference.  I love to have an issue and to be able to reach out to other 911 folks in the state and find out what they are doing to combat the same issue – I’m a believer in not reinventing the wheel and sharing ideas and information. 

I know that cost is always a factor but the cost to send an employee to a state APCO conference is relatively low ($60 for members, $75 for non-members – this includes lunch and dinner on Tuesday and lunch on Wednesday).  I understand that there are hotel costs and costs to cover dispatch while that employee is gone, I’m not immune from any of that.  I also understand that it is increasingly expensive to run a comm center.  But please don’t forget the return on our investment when we train and develop our employees.  Study after study has shown that investing in the education of our employees creates a happy workplace and encourages retention with employees – two issues that we are continuously combating in our arena. 

One last thing, and I thank you for entertaining this long email in your busy day, about the spring APCO conference.  This is the time of year where we award our Telecommunicator of the Year, Line Supervisor of the Year, Director of the Year, and the Team of the Year.  Now I know that it doesn’t take much effort to think of something that somebody on your team has done that has set them apart as a superstar over the past year.  I often think that I wish I had more money or job incentives or something to throw at my team for the hard work that they do and that’s just not feasible.  What is feasible, though, is for me to take 15 minutes to fill out a nomination form and get them the recognition they deserve.  Please don’t overlook this opportunity to reward your team.  Here is the link to find those easy to complete nominations  

I hope to see you and somebody from your team at the spring conference!  If I can do anything to serve you please let me know.  For more conference information and to register please visit  

Monday, September 19, 2016

Monday Night Social - Kansas APCO Conference - October 17

For those joining us at the Fall APCO Conference, which I hope is most of you, don't forget we have the VOICE Products, INC. Monday Night Social on October 17th at 1900 hours. The party is onsite and will be a lot of fun with entertainment provided by DJ Cain, including games, contests, and prizes throughout the evening! Please join us for food, drinks and fun as we celebrate all the behind-the-scenes heroes!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

FREE Conference Registration – Fall 2016

The Kansas Chapter of APCO is giving away two free registrations to the 2016 Fall Conference in Wichita KS, October 17th through the 19th.

If you are the 100th or 125th registrant your conference registration fee will be waived. 

Our host, Sedgwick Co, has an exceptional conference planned.  It starts with a pre-conference workshop on Building a Training Program.  This pre-conference workshop is FREE to paid conference registrants.  Tuesday we will kick off the conference with Dr. Kelly R. Rasmussen and Nix the Negativity in the Workplace.  Wednesday we will hear about the Excel Active Shooter incident in Hesston KS followed by several outstanding breakout sessions.

We will also be conducting Chapter Elections on Wednesday October 19th.  As of this post we have two very qualified candidates running for 2nd Vice President and one qualified for the Chapter’s new Treasures position.  Candidate bios can be found on our Facebook page.

The conference schedule is attached and posted on the Chapter website at

The Chapter will also be doing a fundraiser for the APCO Sunshine Fund details to follow in a few days.  Information about the APCO Sunshine Fund can be found here:

Also be looking for a special announcement October 1st

REMEMBER - Early Registration Ends September 30th, 2016

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Fall Conference Schedule Posted!

The conference schedule for the fall conference has been posted!  To see the exciting lineup visit the conference page on You asked for more classes for the front line dispatcher? Check! New classes that haven't been done at previous conferences? Check! More training that has to do with "day to day" activities? Check! We're hoping you will find this conference to be exactly what you are looking for!

Candidates for 2nd Vice President - Elections to be Held at Fall Conference

One of the important things about attending the fall conference is that we do elections during that time. We have two great, qualified candidates for 2nd Vice President that we would like you to meet. Voting will be completed in person at the APCO conference.
Laura Meyers 
Laura Meyers began her public safety career with Sedgwick County Emergency Communications in 2009 as a Dispatcher. She served on the communications center floor as a cross-trained Dispatcher and Communications Training Officer until making the move to the Support Services division as a Quality Assurance/Training Specialist. From there, she promoted into an administrative role, and continues to serve in that capacity as the Major over the Support Services division. Laura oversees the QA and Training sectors, as well as handling public education and community outreach. She also serves as the Records Clerk for the department, processing Kansas Open Records Act requests and testifies for Emergency Communications when requested for court proceedings. Laura’s favorite part of her job is interacting with the community, especially presenting information to elementary school students on how to properly use the 9-1-1 service. Laura holds a baccalaureate degree in Hospitality Management from the University of Missouri – Columbia, and is a classically trained Pastry Chef, having attended the French Pastry School in Chicago, Illinois. She resides in northwest Wichita with her husband Daniel and three small children, Anderson, Abraham, and Clark.
Laura is excited to submit her intent to serve as the 2nd Vice President and hopes to network with public safety professionals, expand leadership skills, and gain specialized experience by serving in this role.
Mary Eitel
I was born and raised on the east coast in the small town of La Plata just south of Washington, D.C. 
I worked part time answering phones at a local car dealership all throughout high school and began working full time there after graduating in 1987. I progressed from a telephone operator to a warranty claims administrator and finally ended up in the Finance Department.
I met my husband in 1992, we married and moved to western Kansas in 1995 to join the family farm operation. I worked at the Pharmacy in Dighton for 8 years and enjoyed morning coffee daily with Sheriff Don Wilson. Sheriff Wilson offered me a job as the dispatch supervisor in 2003 and I jumped on the chance to pursue what had always been a dream.
Since joining the Sheriff’s Office in 2003 I have seen many changes and been a part of the transition from basic 911 to enhanced 911 and now rising to the challenges we face as we move on to Next Gen 911.
I have been a member of APCO for 13 years and feel like it is time for me to give back to the organization for all of the wonderful training that has been provided. Kansas APCO has always been very important to me and coming to conference twice a year feels like coming home. I get to visit with old friends, make new friends and share stories about the hardships and the stories of how we help people every day.
I currently reside on the farm just north of Dighton with my husband Mark.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Feedback Requested from Attendees of the Spring Conference in Topeka

Visit Topeka has contracted with an independent market research firm, Young Strategies, Inc., to conduct visitor research regarding Topeka, KS as a travel destination for leisure, business, meetings and events.  If you attended a meeting or event in Topeka, KS in the past two years, we would appreciate your help by taking a few moments to respond to the Topeka, KS Visitor Survey.

Your answers will be helpful to Visit Topeka as we develop a new strategic plan and work to improve the visitor experience while in Topeka, KS.  Upon completion of the survey you will be eligible to register for a chance to win (1 of 2) $250 VISA gift cards.

This link is uniquely tied to the visitor survey and your meeting group; please do not forward.  Visit Topeka thanks you in advance for your time and valuable input.