FARA Names 2011 Associate Members of the Year
The False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA) announced during its annual symposium held in San Antonio, Texas, April 4-7, 2011, two winners for its 2011 W. Rex Bell Associate Member of the Year award.
The W. Rex Bell Associate Member award is given to deserving individuals who demonstrate a significant commitment and contribute the most to their department or company, the community at large and FARA, the association said.
Recognized for her outstanding contributions in the effort to reduce false alarms, Vector Security’s False Alarm Reduction — permit compliance coordinator, Kristina Walker, added “2011 FARA Associate of the Year” to her growing portfolio of achievements.
Gerry Miller, president of FARA, commented that “Ms. Walker’s award demonstrates her commitment to attacking the false alarm problem head on... Not only has Kristina worked hard to bring many FARA projects to fruition, but she also helped to reduce false alarms by 52 percent at her own company’s national accounts division.”
Walker manages Vector’s false alarm reduction and permit compliance program for its national accounts division. She works to ensure that Vector’s national retail customers maintain the lowest possible false alarm rates, while remaining compliant with the ever-growing list of alarm management regulations currently on the books in a high number of cities, towns and boroughs across America.
The person for whom the award is named, W. Russell Bell, noted, “The reason why Vector Security is one of the most highly respected alarm companies in America is because they truly place protection first and foremost in their business philosophy.
False alarm reduction has been etched in my mind since I joined Vector,” Walker said. “Our false alarm reduction program, which was championed in 2003 by our former president, John A. Murphy, has received national acclaim. When no one was talking about the short- and long-term impact of uncontrolled false alarms, we were out there preaching to our customers about the need to reduce them.”
Pictured from left to right: Steve Heggemann, treasurer of FARA; Stuart Forchheimer, FARA recipient; Norma Beaubien, FARA member.
Stuart Forchheimer, president of Homesafe Security Systems, a division of the HS Technology Group, was also honored for his exceptional contributions to FARA, his company and the community he serves. Brad Ship, executive director for FARA provided the following context regarding the decision to award Forchheimer with the award.
“Stu owns a local alarm company and never draws attention to himself but is always there for FARA, his customers and his employees,” Ship said. “One of the nominations the FARA Awards Committee received stated, ‘If all alarm companies were as dedicated, ethical and professional as Stuart’s, we would all be looking for another line of work.’ His company has consistently low false dispatch rates in the Washington-Metropolitan region.
“Stu developed working relationships with all surrounding jurisdictions to improve the reliability of alarm systems, reduce false dispatches and to protect citizens from deceptive trade practices. He worked tirelessly with regulators in Maryland to develop brochures and flyers to alert consumers to problems associated with the “summer sales” business model. He co-hosted FARA’s webinar on summer sales scams and spent countless hours working with FARA to ensure the webinar was a success. Under Stuart’s direction, Homesafe Security repaired, at their cost, the damage caused to his customer’s property when they were taken advantage of by unethical sales representatives in summer sales campaigns.
“Stu is one of only two alarm industry representatives certified to teach FARA’s Essentials of False Alarm Reduction course. Stu serves as the treasurer of the Maryland Burglar and Fire Alarm Association. He is one of the strongest voices on their board championing FARA, the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of FARA and false alarm reduction. Stu is truly an exceptional individual, who richly deserves the W. Rex Bell Associate Member of the Year Award and FARA was very proud to honor him as such.”
FARA, The False Alarm Reduction Association, is primarily made up of persons employed by government and public safety agencies in charge of or working in, False Alarm Reduction Units whose goal is to assist these individuals in reducing false alarms in their jurisdictions across the country.
On the decision to award two associate members of the year, Ship commented that there has been only one other time in the award’s history when two people received it in the same year. “We felt they both deserved it equally and we also had a number of other nominees who deserved it and will likely receive it in coming years. In light of that, we thought it was appropriate to award both of them.”