British APCO: What’s new and what’s in it for you?

We’re proud to be a Platinum Partner of British APCO – formerly the British Association of Public Safety Communications Officials. This month, we’ve spoken to Ian Thompson – CEO of British APCO – to find out what’s new for the organisation and its members.

What is BAPCO?

British APCO – also known as BAPCO – is a growing community with extensive knowledge in public safety technology. It is an independent, user-led, not-for-profit association working to improve emergency services and public safety technology and communications for everybody’s benefit.

Ian Thompson: CEO of British APCO

Ian Thompson: CEO of British APCO

As CEO of BAPCO, Ian Thompson is proud to work with the association for its development and to promote greater understanding of the needs and possibilities of public safety technology. Ian has an operational and command background in public safety, including police control rooms and has extensive experience in critical communications technology.

He tells us how anyone who uses or works in developing public safety technology can benefit from joining and participating as a BAPCO member together with thousands of likeminded professionals.

What’s new at BAPCO?

The latest projects

BAPCO has a range of active projects that set out to improve public safety technology. Multiple organisations and sectors deliver these ventures in partnership to build knowledge.

Ian said, “We’re proud to collaborate with emergency and non-emergency public safety services, suppliers, technologists and related government offices within the UK, Europe and across the world to influence the future development of public safety technology.”

“The latest BAPCO projects are serving very important purposes in building the knowledge that public safety professionals need for today and tomorrow, including:

  • 5G Essence – a European-wide initiative that will examine Edge Cloud computing and Small Cell as a Service by fuelling the drivers and removing the barriers in the Small Cell market.

  • Multi Agency Incident Transfer (MAIT) – a strategic collaboration with the Cabinet Office, Emergency Services & Commercial Partners to develop a common standard for the sharing of incident information between emergency service control rooms.

  • Electronic Call Handling (ECHO) – a group that is promoting the Multi Agency Incident Transfer (MAIT) protocol as the standard for handling alarm call information.

Ian continues, “We’re always looking for members to participate in these projects. For example, we’re actively looking for ideas in developing new 999 apps – we see that the best ideas rarely come from the biggest players, so it’s important that all members are encouraged to take part”.

Upcoming events

BAPCO offers its members free access to its events – which take place throughout the year around the UK. The next event – the BAPCO Satellite Series – is on 7 - 8 November 2018 at St James Park, Newcastle.

Ian explains, “At this event, you’ll get access to hours of educational sessions, direct interaction and engagement with program facilitators and leaders in the UK public-safety technology and communications industry, as well as the opportunity to interact with the latest technologies and trends.”

The event will focus on very current themes including:

  • Bringing ESN to life – exploiting and delivering value from the ESN and LTE technology, devices and solutions

  • Mobility for public safety – modern solution or just another gadget?

  • A different view – augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality for public safety.

“Our events are extremely valuable contributors to the development of shared knowledge in public safety technology. They bring together so many important stakeholders – our colleagues who use these technologies, and those who create them.”

“The next event is taking place in November and we’d love to see you there; it’s free to attend as a member, and you’ll get so much from it. To register, just visit the BAPCO website.”


Did you know membership is free for colleagues working in the public sector?

“We’re proud to offer free membership for all current and retired public safety employees, government staff associated with resilience/public safety and volunteers of bona fide public safety organisations - we have members from a wide variety of sectors”, Ian explains. These include the police, fire, ambulance, maritime and search and rescue services, as well as the government, highways, utilities and the military.

As a member, you’ll get:

  • Free access to events

  • Free subscription to the BAPCO Journal

  • Access to your own personalised Member Locker

  • Regular Member Newsletters

  • Opportunities to network and learn from sector leaders

Ian adds, “Becoming a member of British APCO enables you to be part of a growing community of public safety communications professionals dedicated to improving public safety at this crucial time.

“As part of our community you can access networks of specialists, users, suppliers and regulators to ensure that you can access vital current information on issues such as ESMCP, ESN, MAIT and eCall.”

“If you’d like to know more, just visit our website where you can access a host of information, or contact me. I’d be delighted to welcome new members to the association and continue growing our fantastic community.”

Find out more

To find out more about the association, check out the BAPCO website - which is a hub of useful information for all public safety professionals. You can also complete your BAPCO membership application and register your place at the upcoming BAPCO Satellite Series event on the website.

If you’d like to find out about our Platinum Membership, just visit our BAPCO profile.