Security Systems News

JAN 2018

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briefs www.securitysystemsnews.com January 2018 SEC ur IT y S y STEMS n EWS Monitoring 18 Richmond Alarm Company now TMA Five Diamond certified V I E N N A , Va . — T h e M o n i t o r i n g Association recently announced that Richmond Alarm Company, based in Midlothian, Va., obtained the "TMA Five Diamond Monitoring Center" designa- tion. This designation is granted annually to monitoring centers that satisfy all of the requirements of the "five points of excellence": • Commitment to ongoing job-related education and testing by having 100% of its monitoring center operators certi- fied using the TMA online training series on industry best practices. • Commitment to random inspec- tions and quality criteria standards by a nationally recognized testing laboratory such as FM Approvals, lntertek/ ETL and UL. • Commitment to raising the industry standards through TMA membership and participation in its activities. • Commitment to reducing false dis- patches. • Commitment to the highest levels of customer service. "The TMA Five Diamond designation means, in particular, that a monitoring company has demonstrated an excep- tionally high degree of responsibility to their local community and their cus- tomers through the investment of time, money and commitment to quality oper- ator training," the announcement read. There are approximately 2,700 moni- toring centers in the United States that communicate and interact with police, fire and emergency services agencies, the announcement said, and fewer than two hundred monitoring centers have achieved the Five Diamond designation. MONI now monitoring for Nest Secure system DALLAS—MONI Smart Security in early December announced that it can start monitoring for the Nest Secure alarm system. MONI was named as Nest moni- toring partner for the Secure system in September. "MONI believes in the personaliza- tion of home security. With our integra- tion with the Nest Secure alarm system, MONI will offer monitoring at various price points, so anyone can seamlessly add the professional monitoring plan that best fits their lifestyle," Jeff Gardner, pres- ident and CEO of MONI Smart Security, said in a prepared statement. "The Nest Secure alarm system is not only easy to install and live with, it can also be customized to the needs of each customer," Linus Lundberg, Nest's head of global enterprise partnerships, said in the announcement. "Now our customers have another option for additional secu- rity with MONI Smart Security's award- winning professional monitoring." By Spencer Ives FRESNO, Calif.—The Partnership for Priority Verified Alarm Response is working to release updated best practices on video and audio verified alarms and put out new verification training modules for operators in 2018. PPVAR recently opened the standards for feedback and is looking to publish the new ver- sions in Q1 2018. "We tried to put some framework around how verification should be handled, since we have greater technolo- gies and things now," Joey Rao- Russell, PPVAR's vice president, told Security Systems News. The partnership is working on training modules for monitoring operators and hopes to release the first training module in 2018. Threat levels, which define the situation of an alarm and its urgency, will be a topic of the modules, Rao-Russell said. An operator would judge an alarm to be a Threat Level 1, 2 or 3. A Threat Level 1 threat would mean no human is present. A Threat Level 2 would be when a person is detected but there are not signs of a crime. A human would be present with a possible crime in progress for a Threat Level 3. Most of the time, an operator is "going to have to consume information, and you may have to look at multiple clips, and you may have to listen to mul- tiple audio sensors, and you may TMA updates its Level 1 training By Spencer Ives VIENNA, Va.—The Monitoring Association recently announced a new Level 1 training course for operators. The previous Level 1 course was "Like drinking from a fire hose … it was just too much information," Jay Hauhn, TMA's executive director told Security Systems News, particularly con- sidering the course is designed for new entrants in a monitoring center, people who may be new to the industry. The new course adjusts the scope of the content. "We really changed it to be a good overview of the industry without force- feeding content," Hauhn said. As an example, the previous course extensively covered stan- dards, such as UL and FM, and how standards are formed, Hauhn noted, and the new program con- densed it into "a brief overview of how standards are important." The new course is manageable for new operators, according to Elizabeth Lasko, TMA's vice president of communications and marketing. "It can be done in a day or it can be done over a week, depending on how you want to do your training," she said. "It's going to provide—we think—the best possible introduction to the industry and to the critical job of a central station operator." The course's content was also updated to represent monitoring centers' current technologies, Lasko noted. "This is a complete revision, really a brand new course," Lasko said. TMA worked with a partner to redesign the course to have a new interface and improved instructional methods, includ- ing narration, closed captioning, video and illustrations. "Those were all upgrades from the previ- ous course," Lasko said. TMA's Level 1 course was first released seven years ago and it received an update two and a half years ago, said Hauhn. The new course started devel- opment in 2015. "We really spent a lot of time on the content, the flow, seeking lots of input as we got portions of it done—from our stake holders and our mem- bers. We basically started from scratch," Hauhn said. Several volunteers from the industry helped TMA to create the new Level 1 course: Kate Brickner, corporate trainer, train- ing and development, Vivint; Mary Jo Lakhal, formerly secu- rity industry senior program manager, West Safety Services; Laurie Mitchell, national director CMS services, Siemens Industry, Inc.; and Caryn Morgan, cur- riculum designer, Manitou Elite Certification mentor, Bold Technologies "What they did to help us get this done was nothing short of incredible," Hauhn said. TMA has other education initiatives on the horizon. "Next we're going to create a false alarm class geared toward alarm users, as well as update the Level 2 training," Hauhn said. SSN O a k i e o f f i c i a l l y s t a r t s at NMC on Jan. 2. "In a broad sense, her role will be to educate the dealers regarding video. Dealers can implement a full array of video services from clips to analytics," Sharon Elder, NMC's vice president of sales, told Security Systems News. Dealers can imple- ment video verification to cut attrition, E l d e r n o t e d ; NMC has partner- ships with I-View N o w, S u re v i e w and continues to p u r s u e s e c u re d v i d e o i n t e g r a - tions. "On her day-to- day responsibilities, she'll be implementing full-ser- vice video solutions, con- tinuing education for the sales, dealer support and operator trainers. It takes a team approach to help a dealer implement these new solutions," Elder said. Oakie will leverage her background—including m o re t h a n 2 0 y e a r s o f experience in the indus- try, working with security dealers as well as I-View Now—in educating NMC's dealers about new solu- PPVAR has plans for 2018 have to understand that site and that location and talk with [the responsible party] and make a decision," Rao-Russell said. The training module will define these threat levels with examples as well as present methods for making that determination for the operators taking the course. Operators will then be able to relay more information to the PSAP dispatcher in the event of an alarm. The partnership also plans to build a training module for PSAP centers, "so that we're using the same information, hopefully the same threat levels," said Rao- Russell. "If we can get the PSAPs and the ASAPs talking in the same exact language, just like the automation software does, imagine the efficiencies that can be gained by both sides." PPVAR recently added two new board members from law enforce- ment. "We did a long process of interviews and resumes," Rao- Russell said. One is the director of fire and emergency services for a township, another is the director of public safety for another town- ship, and has extensive experience with PSAPs, Rao-Russell said. Having input from law enforce- ment and hearing their perspec- tive is important to PPVAR, Rao-Russell noted. "We're very dedicated to hearing [from] and having the participation of law enforcement," she said. SSN tions, particularly video technologies. "Video is going to be the concentra- tion, and that really is my background," Oakie told SSN. NMC can monitor a variety of cameras and that is a value for dealers, she mentioned. NMC now can monitor Nest's Pro cameras through Nest's integration with I-View Now. "It is clear that Nest is a brand n a m e . D e a l e r s that are in that millennial arena, that Nest recog- nition arena, we want to be able to help dealers grow their business and compete on every level," Elder said. O a k i e s e e s v a l u e i n p r o f e s s i o n a l m o n i t o r- ing over self-monitoring. Consumer-level advertise- ments do a good job of telling users that they can receive notifications on their smart phone, she said, but pose the idea that consumers aren't always available. "That's where the National Monitoring Center will come in, to help the consumer when they're not available, and that is so key." SSN NMC hires new director of national sales Continued from page 1 Nicola Oakie

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