Time and accuracy are paramount for monitoring centers and for the businesses and families they serve and protect. In an emergency, every second and detail counts as a life and property may be in the balance.
It’s been more than a decade since The Monitoring Association (TMA) launched its ASAP-to-PSAP service as part of a public-private partnership between TMA, the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials International (APCO), and participating Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs)/ Emergency Communications Centers (ECCs) in the U.S.
ASAP to PSAP is built to increase the accuracy and efficiency of calls for service (dispatch request) from alarm companies to PSAPs/ECCs. The service utilizes a well-established ANSI standard protocol developed cooperatively by APCO and TMA.
Using the ASAP-to-PSAP service, critical information about life-safety events is delivered digitally directly into the CAD system at the PSAP/ECC in seconds. The use of data communications virtually eliminates errors and because addresses are pre-verified this ensures that complete and accurate information is transmitted to a valid address covered by the PSAP/ECC. Furthermore, interactions between Monitoring Centers and ECCs support bi-directional messaging for additional communications.
The goal of TMA’s ASAP-to-PSAP service is to eliminate voice calls between the monitoring center and the PSAP/ECC. The elimination of calls will, in turn, take the alarm traffic load off both the monitoring center operators and the PSAP/ECC call-takers. Reduced response times help with all aspects of alarm dispatches.
“The ASAP-to-PSAP program is a huge step forward in improving the level of security for our customers while eliminating non-value-added phone calls for our monitoring centers as well as the public safety Emergency Communication Centers (ECC),” stated Steve Walker, vice president monitoring operations – North America, Securitas Technology. “Direct communication of alarms into the ECC enables quicker response from public safety responders while providing relief for ECC operators by eliminating unnecessary phone calls. At Securitas Technology, we are seeing the impact of this program in increased operator productivity and improved customer satisfaction. We need to push the adoption of this program broader and deeper into our national ECC network as quickly as possible.”
Washington Alarm President and CEO Shannon Woodman shared, “Washington Alarm is excited to be live with ASAP-to-PSAP in Washington State. We are seeing more and more counties and even the City of Seattle implementing ASAP-to-PSAP in our state. We know this technology will save valuable time for all parties involved, when we are dispatching alarms to PSAPs.”
ASAP-to-PSAP Prepares for the Future
The ASAP-to-PSAP service is used by local, regional and national monitoring companies of all sizes. As of Dec. 1, 2022, more than 85 percent of all alarm accounts are ASAP enabled and there are several new monitoring centers joining early next year which will increase that total.
Today, 14 CAD platforms have been certified for use of the ASAP-to-PSAP service. Each CAD vendor has built logic into their solution using the ANSI standard as their blueprint. Seamless deployment is realized through standardized technology and an experienced ASAP-to-PSAP technical team.
“The ASAP-to-PSAP program is a huge step forward in improving the level of security for our customers while eliminating non-value added phone calls for our monitoring centers as well as the public safety Emergency Communication Centers.” — Steve Walker, Vice President Monitoring Operations, North America, Securitas Technology.
Last year was a record-breaking year for the ASAP-to-PSAP program. Over 25 ECCs were added, including the major cities of Atlanta, Portland, Ore., Baltimore and Denver. The service covers a population of nearly 45 million. Positive reviews of the platform continue to drive greater adoption.
Currently, there are nearly 60 ECCs in the queue, at various stages in the process. It is exciting to have an industry-owned platform creating a more efficient and accurate process for handling alarm activity with our partners in the 911 community and first responders.
“We love ASAP and I can't say enough positive things about the service,” said Dianne Flanagan, CAD, senior coordinator, Collier County Sheriff's Office, Naples Fla., an ASAP user since Feb 2017. “The Collier County Sheriff's Office saves on average 24 hours a month in staff time communicating with alarm companies. The ASAP process is seamless — alarm calls appear in our pending queue totally bypassing the call taking process allowing our already short-staffed center the ability to handle more emergent calls. ASAP is priceless and every ECC should take advantage of this service.”
Having completed a substantive technology upgrade in 2022, TMA is transitioning to the next stage of ASAP. For the first-time in 2023, additional full-time resources will be dedicated to the program with a new leader to manage and promote the program. Supplementing this leadership will be individuals in business development/sales, project management and account management.
The TMA Steering Committee is excited at the opportunity they will have with a full-time staff totally dedicated to the growth and success of the ASAP-to-PSAP service.
“We look forward to using this evolving technology and being able to do even more with the information we receive in our monitoring center and getting this information to the first responders,” offered Woodman.
To learn more about the ASAP-to-PSAP service, visit TMA’s website here.