Executive Director and IPSA Founder, Heather R. Cotter answers some FAQs.
Why did you start the IPSA?
Since 9/11, we have all talked about the need to work together and integrate our efforts as first responders. But as of the year 2014, everything for public safety was still being done in silos at a national level. While the U.S. DHS offers multidiscipline programs, this is at the federal government level. No non-profit existed to unite the public safety community.
I saw a need to form a non-profit organization that would bring together all public safety disciplines to provide cross-training and networking opportunities.
I'm very proud of what IPSA has accomplished in less than three years.
What are your thoughts about President Trump?
As with any new President, you have to take a step back, wait and see. There is a ton of media coverage right now (as to be expected). Every story has an angle so it's important to understand that and take it into perspective as you take the information in that's being shared.
I hope President Trump offers the public safety community funding and policy that will keep our first responders and communities safe.
I also want to see the IPSA get the opportunity to have a seat at the table to help shape policy and decisions that are being made by the White House that impact public safety - whether it's law enforcement, fire, EMS or any of the disciplines.
What opportunities exist for IPSA Members?
IPSA Members have the opportunity to serve on our Board, serve as Officers, serve as Committee Chairs or Committee Members. They also have the opportunity to submit to our Blog, submit manuscripts to the IPSA Journal and attend trainings (web-based and in-person).
Members have the opportunity to represent us on working groups. The IPSA serves as Vice-Chair of the U.S. DHS Emergency Services Sector Coordinating Council and a current IPSA Member represents us at those meetings. We've also extended oppourtinites to our Members to inform the Presidential Cybersecurity Commission Report and other notable efforts.
How can individuals help IPSA?
Help us build awareness by telling others about us, encouraging individuals to become Members, sharing or liking our posts on social media, registering for our 2018 conference, signing-up for our web-trainings and joining our committees.
Individuals can also help by donating and becoming a 2017 IPSA Supporter. Or, by telling a company they work with to become an IPSA Supporter.
Personally, I would love to see all of our Members help IPSA's fundraising and outreach efforts. As a grassroots organization, everyone has the opportunity to help us advance our mission and achieve our vision.
I believe our Members join to be a part of something important and needed in public safety. Joining IPSA is more than a resume builder. Joining IPSA is about being forward thinking and making a difference in the global public safety community.