Kevin J. Lehan
EMERgency 24 developed the Incident Command and Control platform to deliver faster and more succinct data to first responders and others At ISC West 2015 in Las Vegas, EMERgency24 introduced a groundbreaking web-based software platform called Incident Command and Control Service, which allows system owners to generate alerts for situations such as lockdown, severe weather or HAZMAT (hazardous materials) situations and enables instant communication to pre-defined contact groups via text message, email or voice-to-phone messages. Exclusive offerings boost RMR “Incident Command and Control, once initiated by the building occupants, enables first responders to monitor and control a situation easily from a secure, online portal,” says Kevin Lehan, manager of public relations for EMERgency24. “It helps dealers provide a valuable service to customers and increases their recurring monthly revenue (RMR). Because this is exclusively offered by EMERgency24, dealers can set themselves apart from the competition and even brand the portal with their own company name,” he adds. Lehan says security companies at ISC West overwhelmingly welcomed the launch of the service. Schools, for example, are looking for solutions to better protect students and provide quicker response to active-shooter events. BluePoint Alert, Elgin, Ill., fobs and pull stations as well as gunshot-detection sensors can be used to sound the alarm and initiate the Incident Command and Control process. Incident Command and Control Incident Command and Control disseminates detailed information about alarm events and provides a means for two-way communication. For example, pre-defined contact groups such as first responders, school administrators/teachers, students, superintendents and politicians, receive an immediate alert of the incident; emergency procedure documents; visual point identification of alarm event origin overlaid on a building floor plan; and secure Internet links to access Incident Command Portal, floor plans and video feeds. “Because this (Incident Command and Control platform) is exclusively offered by EMERgency24, dealers can set themselves apart from the competition and even brand the portal with their own company name”, says Kevin Lehan, manager of public relations for EMERgency24 Helping to determine priorities “By facilitating a means for two-way communication, first responders receive specific information and descriptors of the alarm incident so they can better prioritise response and where they need to go. Intelligent filtering software identifies the most common terms from the two-way communication between authorities and building occupants. For example, responses from building occupants may say, ‘need help in room 101,’” continues Lehan. “Responders on site can also receive pictures or videos from the Incident Command and Control portal,” he adds. This system also enables follow-up messages for ongoing situational awareness and communication updates throughout the incident. EMERgency 24 developed the platform to deliver faster and more succinct data to many distinct groups of people. “We know that on average, a shooting event ends within 12 minutes, and the average response time is 18 minutes,” Lehan says. “Incident Command and Control Services brings new, time-saving awareness to a host of scenarios.” Dealers will be able to target existing customers and new sales with a standalone solution that boosts RMR. First responders have access to the software at no cost, and it’s automatically updated on the portal because it’s web-based. Dealers are charged based on the number of notifications the end-user requires, and they can mark up the service according to their client’s requirements. Dealers will be able to target existing customers and new sales with a standalone solution that boosts RMR Filtered-response monitoring service Established in 1967, EMERgency24, Des Plaines, Ill., continues to streamline the monitoring process and add new services. Another new EMERgency24 service to help alarm dealers increase their recurring monthly revenue (RMR) is filtered-response monitoring service. It is designed to greatly reduce false-alarm dispatches to authority agencies by improving communications between the subscriber and the central station. An internal or external (perimeter) video alarm is initiated from the premises. The signal goes to the subscriber’s smart device and to EMERgency24 at the same time. The subscriber then, at the press of an icon on the smart device screen, instructs EMERgency24 to dispatch (a real alarm) or disregard (a false alarm) on the signal. The subscriber also has the option to disarm the system as well. EMERgency24 continues to focus on adding value with new services that dealers and their customers can use to provide the highest level of targeted response coupled with professional monitoring.
Anyone who questions the value of participation in local and national burglar and fire alarm associations need only look at the ongoing activities of the Illinois Electronic Security Association (IESA) to validate the reason for membership. Just last week IESA members and lobbyists travelled downstate to Springfield to show support and testify against two new bills, up for debate in a senate committee hearing, that would ultimately prove harmful and create a competitive disadvantage for licensed Illinois alarm companies. And while IESA remains on alert, they feel certain they have thwarted the latest attempt to change the way alarm companies in the state do business. Municipal fire alarm monitoring Two new bills surfaced in the Illinois General Assembly, SB 1495 and SB 1685, one resurrecting the issue of municipal monitoring of fire alarms and the other in essence duplicating the current alarm company state licensing signed into law in 1984. SB 1495 sought to amend the Fire Protection District Act to allow the board of trustees of any fire protection district to adopt ordinances regulating the supervision and monitoring of fire alarm systems maintained within the district. In 2011, IESA fought a push by the Lisle-Woodridge Fire Protection District to move fire alarm signals from burglar and fire alarm companies to district-run monitoring facilities. IESA was successful in thwarting that attempt when the 7th U.S. Circuit of Appeals upheld an injunction against the fire protection district’s enforcement of the ordinance. The other bill, SB 1685, would require fire alarm system designers in the state to hold National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) Level 3 certification or higher. Being that there are only 147 persons certified in the state at this level or higher, the legislation would essentially prohibit at least 80 percent of existing private alarm contractors in Illinois from continuing to offer fire alarm design and installation services, says Kevin Lehan, executive director of IESA and manager of Public Relations for EMERgency 24 in Des Plaines, Ill. Lehan says he is confident these bills will not be called out of committee for a vote after the group’s testimony last week outlining the adverse effect of the proposed legislation. Duplicate licensure for alarm contractors Lehan says, with regards to SB 1495, the Illinois Fire Inspector’s Association reasoned that an increase in fire deaths in the state was cause for a change in who monitors fire alarms. However, Lehan and IESA disputed the statistics – and said that the bill, which refers to commercial fire systems only, is being associated with research specific to residential systems. "Everyone was on board and knew these measures would greatly hurt many member companies if allowed to go through.” “This is in no way, shape or form related to the activities of licensed alarm contractors. Those deaths occurred because the residence didn’t have a smoke detector or the batteries hadn’t been changed. Those deaths didn’t happen in a commercial facility. In addition, when you have a system connected and monitored smoke detector, the device does a regular analysis, and the dealer checks to make sure the system is online and operational. We were wrongfully linked to a statistic, and we explained this during the hearing process,” he says. Lehan says SB 1685 would basically duplicate the licensure for alarm contractors in Illinois, in place since January 1984. The National Fire Alarm and Signalling code According to Lehan, the overarching document followed and adhered to by licensed alarm companies in Illinois is NFPA 72, the National Fire Alarm and Signalling Code. “The way it works is that licensed alarm companies in Illinois send their fire alarm designs to their local Authority Having Jurisdiction, the AHJ reviews it, and can accept or reject the plans. Once accepted, the system is installed per NFPA 72. The AHJ inspects for NFPA 72 compliance and if the system passes, occupancy is granted.” “We continue to play defence, but our members came through. The alarm industry had 90 percent of the seats occupied in the committee meeting room, and we had about 60 people participating. The Illinois alarm industry spends a tremendous amount of money to make sure our legislative rights are protected. Everyone was on board and knew these measures would greatly hurt many member companies if allowed to go through.”