TMA Welcomes Texas PSAP

The Galveston County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO) is the 72nd Emergency Communications Center (ECC) in the United States to implement the (ASAP) and the 10th ECC in the state of Texas to implement ASAP. The GCSO went live with Vector Security and Rapid Response, at 8am CDT on Wednesday, July 22nd followed by Security Central, Guardian Protection, Tyco (Johnson Controls), the National Monitoring Center, AT&T Digital Life, Vivint, Affiliated Monitoring, and Protection One.  Alert 360 and ADT are scheduled to go live with the GCSO within the next 2-3 weeks. 

“The implementation of ASAP to PSAP within the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office ECC is anticipated to provide improved efficiency, accuracy and expedition responding to Police, Fire and EMS alarm calls.  This includes business and residential alarm calls within the unincorporated communities of Galveston County, the City of Hitchcock, the City of Clear Lake Shores, the Village of Tiki Island and the City of Bayou Vista”, said Lt. Margo Ihde, Division Commander of Communications. “The Sheriff’s Office is enthusiastic about this advancement to better serve our community; increasing our ability to assist in saving lives and protecting property by decreasing the amount of time it takes to dispatch and subsequently respond to in progress alarm calls.” 

Learn more about ASAP-to-PSAP.

New Year’s ASAP® News: Vivint is Latest Company to Connect

Implementation of the “Automated Secure Alarm Protocol” is Building Nationwide;
Boca Raton is First Connected PSAP in Florida

VIENNA, VA (January 12, 2016) – Vivint, one of the largest smart home technology providers in North America with more than one million customers, is the latest national alarm company to go live with ASAP®.

“We are very pleased to announce that Vivint has completed testing and officially is live with ASAP messaging,” said CSAA President Pamela J. Petrow. “They join the ever-growing list of companies actively participating in this technology and further increasing our accuracy and speed at getting emergency information to the first responders.”

“We are excited to be live with our first PSAP—Richmond, VA,” said Amy Becht, Vivint Director of Central Stations. “We plan on steadily adding additional PSAPs in the coming weeks.”

CSAA announced in December that Vector Security and Rapid Response went operational in production with Boca Raton on December 16, followed by Monitronics on December 17. This is the first ASAP implementation in the state of Florida. “We had great momentum throughout 2015 and look forward to the continuation of added PSAPs and connected alarm companies in 2016,” said Petrow.

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 (APCO) and the Central Station Alarm Association (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.

For more information on ASAP or to access ASAP resources (videos, webinars, training and outreach materials), contact CSAA at asap@csaaintl.org or 703-242-4670, or visit csaaintl.org/asap.

 

Stanley Security Implements ASAP®

“Automated Secure Alarm Protocol” is Spreading Nationwide

VIENNA, VA (November 20, 2015) – Stanley Security, one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive security providers, went live with ASAP® in the city of Richmond, VA on October 22.

“We understand that this program is an important step forward for both our industry and for law enforcement, and we are proud to be part of this transformational process in public safety,” said Steve Walker, Vice President of Customer Service for Stanley. “The electronic communication of alarm information will reduce dispatch times, improve the accuracy of data exchanged between the monitoring center and the PSAP and, most importantly, will create the opportunity for law enforcement to respond more quickly to alarms.”

“The addition of Stanley is a big step in the advancement of ASAP,” said CSAA Executive Director Jay Hauhn. “The growth of the program this year has been tremendous. With the numbers of ASAP-active alarm companies and interested PSAPs, I believe we have reached the point where we will see widespread deployment in 2016.”

“We have appreciated the capable support of Bill Hobgood (Project Manager, Public Safety Team Department of Information Technology City of Richmond, VA) in helping us to navigate through the procedural challenges of implementing the ASAP-to-PSAP program,” continued Walker. “We have also appreciated the support of our partners at IBS in adapting the SBN monitoring automation platform to successfully leverage the ASAP-to-PSAP communications.”

Looking ahead, Walker commented, “We’re moving forward to expand our ASAP implementation at Stanley to include the other PSAPs in the DC area and have set our sights on going live in Houston in early 2016.”

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 (APCO) and the Central Station Alarm Association (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.

 

For more information on ASAP or to access ASAP resources (videos, webinars, training and outreach materials), contact CSAA at asap@csaaintl.org or 703-242-4670, or visit csaaintl.org/asap.

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About CSAA International

The Central Station Alarm Association International (CSAA) is an internationally-recognized non-profit trade association that represents professional monitoring companies that are listed by a CSAA-approved Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory, such as FM Approvals, Intertek/ETL or UL. CSAA is legally entitled to represent its members before Congress and regulatory agencies on the local, state and federal levels, and other authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) over the industry. Since its incorporation in 1950, CSAA has served its members’ interests through education, online training, meetings and conventions, certification, insurance, and industry standards. www.csaaintl.org. For more information, contact Elizabeth Lasko at CSAA, 703-242-4670 x 16.

 

Bill Hobgood to Receive CSAA Public Sector Award

Richmond, VA’s Bill Hobgood is Recipient of Inaugural CSAA Public Sector Award

Public Safety Project Manager Recognized for Tireless Work on Behalf of the ASAP® Program

 VIENNA, VA (June 18, 2015) – CSAA International announced that Bill Hobgood, Project Manager, Public Safety Team in the Department of Information Technology for the City of Richmond, Virginia, is the recipient of CSAA’s inaugural Public Sector Award. This special honor is given by CSAA in recognition of a public sector individual’s contribution to the alarm industry.

“Over the past several years, Bill has worked tirelessly to promote and implement ASAP®, a program that increases the efficiency and reliability of emergency electronic signals from central station alarm companies to Public Service Answering Points (PSAPs),” said CSAA President Pamela J. Petrow. “Bill is the ideal recipient of this inaugural award–he has been an indefatigable advocate for the ASAP program, which benefits both the private and public sector.”

“I am deeply honored to receive CSAA’s Inaugural Public Sector Award,” said Hobgood. “Having personally developed the first ASAP to Computer-Aided Dispatch interface for York County, VA and the City of Richmond, VA that was launched in 2006 as a two-and-a-half year pilot, I realized from day one that the ASAP program would become the win-win that it has for public safety and the alarm industry with the primary beneficiary being the community that we serve. The ASAP program has a proven track record of successes across the United States made possible due to faster responses by public safety responders.”

Hobgood was nominated for the award by Vector Security and by CSAA Past President Louis T. Fiore. “This award is so well-deserved!” said Fiore. “Bill has done a great deal for CSAA, ASAP and the industry as a whole, and I congratulate him on this recognition.”

ASAP was launched in 2011 as an initiative by the alarm industry in a cooperative effort between the Association of Public Communications Officials (APCO) and CSAA. With ASAP, critical life safety signals and accurate information is processed in seconds, not minutes, through the Nlets system of state-to-state PSAP communication, insuring that critical time is not lost, and that complete and accurate information is transmitted to the PSAP every time. The ASAP program also helps reduce false alarms, and may save the PSAPs and emergency services potentially millions of dollars.

“ASAP is a critical initiative that will improve public safety,” said Petrow, “and it is being implemented all around the country thanks to Bill.”

“The program continues to expand to additional Public Safety Answering Points and alarm central stations at a rapid pace,” Hobgood said. “It has been personally rewarding each time I learn of another PSAP or central station that has joined the program. This program really works and I am thankful to be part of it.”

Hobgood’s efforts to promote and implement ASAP include:

 

  • Assuming the role of technical lead for the original pilot in 2006 and achieved the first Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) interface
  • Serving as Co-Project Manager for APCO with the IJIS Institute on the Public Safety Data Interoperability Program that led to the development of the IEPD for the ASAP program
  • Serving as Chair of APCO’s Data Transfer Committee that led to the program becoming an American National Standard
  • Promoting the ASAP program to many groups in at least 40 presentations including:
    • APCO International annual conferences
    • Local and regional APCO/NENA chapter conferences
    • Justice Clearinghouse webinars
    • CAD provider user groups
    • Best of NIEM webinars
    • IJIS Institute Symposiums and Briefings
    • ASIS Security conferences
    • International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) conferences
    • Law Enforcement Information Management (LEIM) conferences
  • Working with each central station that participates in the ASAP program to certify their automation with the City of Richmond CAD system in conforming to the ANSI standard
  • Working with many of the PSAPs that are operational today with the ASAP program including:
    • City of Richmond, VA
    • York-Williamsburg-Poquoson, VA
    • James City County, VA
    • Washington, DC
    • Houston, TX
    • Henrico County, VA
  • As subject-matter-expert on the ASAP program, answering technical questions from PSAPs and central stations, reaching out to PSAPs for feedback and follow up, and participating in monthly ASAP committee conference calls to keep CSAA informed

Hobgood will be presented with the award at the Electronic Security Expo (ESX) Public Sector luncheon on Wednesday, June 24, at the Baltimore Convention Center. For more information, contact Elizabeth Lasko at CSAA, 703-242-4670 or ewlasko@csaaintl.org.

About CSAA International

The Central Station Alarm Association International (CSAA) is an internationally-recognized non-profit trade association that represents professional monitoring companies that are listed by a CSAA-approved Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory, such as FM Global, Intertek/ETL or UL. CSAA is legally entitled to represent its members before Congress and regulatory agencies on the local, state and federal levels, and other authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) over the industry. Since its incorporation in 1950, CSAA has served its members’ interests through education, online training, meetings and conventions, certification, insurance, and industry standards. www.csaaintl.org. For more information, contact Elizabeth Lasko at CSAA, 703-242-4670 x 16.

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News for ASAP Program – June 13, 2013

ASAP

 

 

 

 

ASAP on Fast track

 The ASAP to PSAP program is moving at a fast pace.  In under two years, 30+ ASAP Charter members are contracted to participate in the ASAP program.

ASAP program opens specialized wiki

The ASAP Outreach committee has launched the Charter members only wiki link for participants in the ASAP program.   The wiki houses information from “how to get my alarm company ready” to “how do I get my PSAP to participate” as well as tips and contacts. To gain access to the wiki, log onto

http://wiki.csaaul.org/ASAP/

ASAP to PSAP: One Size Fits All

 

The month of May has been a busy month for the Automated Secure Alarm Protocol (ASAP) program. Efforts are underway to migrate all Nlets directly connected alarm monitoring companies to the new Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) managed Message Broker. In concert with this effort, CAD providers that have an ASAP interface solution have been upgrading their ASAP software applications to the 3.3 schema. Couple these efforts with new added security between the Message Broker and the Nlets Message Switch, three new CAD providers testing their ASAP interface solution, one new alarm automation provider testing its solution and the first of the next five alarm companies to join the ASAP program becoming connected to the Message Broker, and it has been a busy month indeed.

The ASAP ANSI standard is a one-size-fits-all solution: It is no secret that the ASAP to the PSAP program works well for the Houston Emergency Center (HEC), reported to be the fourth largest PSAP in the United States. It’s responsible for providing public safety communications to 2.3 million residents over an area of 634 square miles. Houston is a huge metropolis, so large that someone driving a vehicle could start from one end point on the interstate on the edge of Houston and continue to drive and still be in Houston one hour later. The HEC receives 2,600 police-related alarms weekly and 13% require no calltaker involvement because of ASAP. As more alarm companies begin their participation, this percentage will increase, and fewer alarm notifications will require calltaker involvement. Houston is preparing to begin accepting fire and medical alarms via the ASAP program in June.

The ASAP standard works well for the City of Richmond Virginia, a medium-size PSAP about one-tenth the size of Houston in both population (204,751) and land area (63 square miles). Richmond averages 250 alarms (police, fire and medical) weekly. Approximately 18% of these alarms are received via the ASAP program. Like Houston, this percentage will increase as more alarm companies are added to the program including the long-awaited, granddaddy of the alarm industry: ADT.

The ASAP program works for large cities/counties, medium-size cities/counties and small towns. Like Houston, the ASAP program will work for New York City; Chicago; Los Angeles; San Diego; Washington, D.C.; Boston; Dallas; Fairfax County, Va.; Atlanta; San Antonio; Denver; and so on. Like Richmond, it will work for Norfolk, Newport News, Charlotte, Virginia Beach, Savannah, Charleston, Portland, etc. ASAP to the PSAP can work for a one position 9-1-1 PSAP that receives only one alarm a day or perhaps only one a week. Many of the cities and counties mentioned above are actively working with their CAD providers to acquire an interface to receive the ASAP traffic.

The ASAP is an American National Standard that is not vendor specific or proprietary. It is based on open standards using the Extensible Markup Language and conforms to the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM). CAD providers and alarm monitoring automation providers need only develop the ASAP interface once and deploy it many times to their customers.

Some determining factors if the ASAP program will work for your agency (now or later): The logistics of the ASAP program requires that the PSAP have a CAD system capable of interfacing to the Nlets state control point. Typically, the transport path for alarm notifications is (1) alarm monitoring company sends to (2) CSAA Message Broker sends to (3) Nlets sends to (4) state control point sends to (5) PSAP’s CAD system. Responses from the CAD system to the alarm monitoring company use the reverse route. The travel time from the alarm monitoring company to the PSAP has been benchmarked in the 2 – 5 seconds range. This means that from the time that the alarm operator initiates the alarm notification to the PSAP, the data shows up within 2 – 5 seconds on average at the PSAP’s CAD system and the CAD will automatically create a new call-for-service alarm event instantly. Because the ASAP program bypasses the call-taker process, the first indication to PSAP staff of the new alarm event is upon delivery of the call-for-service event to the radio operator’s pending call queue. The CAD can be configured to automatically broadcast high priority law enforcement-related alarms to all Mobile Data Computers (MDCs) in the field to enable a rapid response by law enforcement resources sometimes starting before the voice dispatch by the radio operator.

If the PSAP does not have a connection to the state control point, often this may mean that the PSAP is a secondary PSAP. Sometimes a secondary PSAP may have an agreement in place with the primary PSAP and be able to make use of the primary PSAP as a message switch. When this arrangement is not practical, the statewide Emergency Service IP Networks (ESInets) hold promise for the future and may offer those PSAPs that are unable to connect to the state control point a viable alternative in receiving ASAP traffic. The APCO/CSAA Technical Committee will continue to monitor connectivity possibilities as the ESInets are deployed in each state.

For PSAPs that have a CAD system that is capable of interfacing to the state control point, the next obvious question is whether the PSAP’s CAD provider offers an ASAP interface solution. To make this determination, the practical method is to contact the CAD provider and ask. Even if the CAD provider does not have a solution, at least the PSAP has made its interest in the PSAP program known to the CAD provider. Some CAD providers have made business decisions to provide a solution for their most current CAD product line, but not for their older product lines.

The cost of an ASAP interface is surely another consideration for some agencies. APCO and the CSAA have encouraged CAD providers to absorb research and development costs, and then spread those costs across license fees for the CAD providers’ customers. While the ASAP to PSAP articles steer clear of mentioning license fees, the costs may be cheaper than you might think. Again, contact your CAD provider. If they have an ASAP solution, ask about the costs associated with implementing ASAP.

Reprinted from Public Safety Communications. Written by Bill Hobgood on May 30, 2012 in APCO, Calltaking/Dispatch, Codes/Standards, News, Operations, Tech

 

About the Author

Bill Hobgood is a Project Manager for the City of Richmond’s DIT Public Safety Team with 40 years of experience in public safety. He is also a Project Coordinator for APCO’s Comm Center & 9-1-1 Services Department and a Subject-Matter-Expert on the ASAP Project. Contact Bill via email at asap@apcointl.org.

ASAP Message Broker Goes “Live”

On Monday, April 16, the long awaited CSAA message broker server—a critical component of the Automated Secure Alarm Protocol (ASAP)—became operational in the production environment.
The City of Richmond (Va.) Police Department’s Division of Emergency Communications and Vector Security, two of the three original ASAP pilot participants, migrated to the CSAA message broker officially at 1 p.m. EST on April 16. The migration was seamless and transparent for the end users at both Vector Security’s and Richmond’s 911 PSAP, according to Bill Hobgood, project coordinator for APCO and project manager for the city of Richmond’s Department of Information Technology Public Safety Team.
Anita Ostrowski, Vector Security’s vice president for central stations, says that operators at Vector Security received very brief, informal training that was required when Vector migrated to the production message broker. No formal training or in-depth training program was required for Vector’s migration.
The message broker is a combination of hardware and software intended to perform a middleware function between Nlets and the alarm monitoring companies that want to take advantage of ASAP. It performs error checking and ensures that the transmissions from the alarm monitoring companies are properly formatted before sending the message to Nlets for subsequent forwarding to the appropriate state control point and ASAP-participating PSAP.
Notes CSAA Immediate Past President Ed Bonifas, vice president of Alarm Detection Systems and co-chair of CSAA’s ASAP Steering Committee, “This sets the stage for the future participation of additional alarm monitoring companies. Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.”