Criticom Monitoring Services (CMS), a wholesale alarm monitoring company, went live with ASAP in Richmond, Va., on October 21. “Awareness of ASAP’s very real benefits to PSAPs is spreading,” said Jay Hauhn, executive director of the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA). “The program gathers momentum with each prestigious national monitoring company that comes on board. Having CMS go live is a big step in the process of implementing this service around the nation.”
Tony Wilson, president of CMS, said, “CMS is now live with its ASAP-to-PSAP adoption. Our hope is that the ASAP program will increase the speed and accuracy of our dispatches.” CMS serves more than 3,500 alarm companies and their 800,000 customers. Their broad range of monitoring services includes response to security, fire, personal emergency response systems, environmental and interactive services such as two-way voice and remote video.
“It took about a year to launch the ASAP program,” Wilson said. “We did this intentionally so that we could minimize the impact to our dealers. ASAP-to-PSAP is currently implemented for our 21 dealers located in the city of Richmond, Va.; this affects approximately 500 subscriber accounts. Our Richmond contact, Bill Hobgood, was an excellent resource and helped to make this project easier. Our operators are excited for this new technology to communicate dispatches electronically and can’t wait for more and more PSAPs to follow suit. Over the next few weeks we will begin working on expanding our ASAP implementation to include our dealers located in Henrico County, Va., and Washington, D.C.”
ASAP was launched in 2011 as a public-private partnership, designed to increase the efficiency and reliability of emergency electronic signals from central station alarm companies to public safety answering points (PSAPs). ASAP utilizes ANSI-standard protocols developed cooperatively by the Association of Public Communications Officials and CSAA.
With ASAP, critical life safety signals and accurate information is processed more quickly, through the Nlets system of state-to-state PSAP communication, insuring that complete and accurate information is transmitted to the PSAP every time. The ASAP program has the potential to save PSAPs and emergency services millions of dollars.
Bill Hobgood, project manager, public safety team department of information technology, City of Richmond, Va., said, “The percentage of alarm notifications transmitted to Richmond using the ASAP service has increased exponentially with the addition of each new central station to the ASAP program. In contrast, the Richmond Emergency Communications staff are receiving fewer telephone calls from central stations, which is one of the ASAP goals.”