Delaware County commissioners took action Thursday to help speed up emergency response times and eliminate possible mistakes for residential and business alarm calls.
Alarm companies will now send alarm information directly to the county’s 911 Center’s computer by the flip of a switch.
“Hopefully it will reduce calls within the center from alarm companies, giving us information and quicker processing of alarms out,” said Patrick Brandt, emergency communications director at the 911 Center.
At Thursday’s county commission meeting, Brandt explained how the new system will work, compared to the current method.
Currently, when an alarm company receives an alarm, they call the home or business to confirm it is a valid alarm. Once confirmed, the company then calls the 911 Center, relaying all the information about the alarm. As the information is relayed, a dispatcher in the center has to enter the information in the county’s computer system, according to Brandt.
Brandt explained that the goal of the new system is to increase the accuracy and speed of information from the alarm companies to the 911 Center.
The system will be automated so that companies will not need to call in information. Instead, companies will call to confirm the validity of an alarm, then electronically transfer the information to the 911 Center’s computer system. “It takes out my dispatcher from being on the phone and somebody typing in an incorrect address or not hearing them correctly,” Brandt said. “It saves processing times on both sides.”
The fail safe for the new system is for the alarm company to pick up the phone and call. “If our CAD (computer-aided dispatch) system does not respond in 90 seconds, they have to revert to the old technology of picking up the phone and calling us making sure we got it,” Brandt said.
The service is provided by Central Station Alarm Association through a “no-cost agreement,” Brandt said. “It uses the backbone of NLETs, which is the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System, along with Ohio LEADS which is connected through the Ohio State Highway Patrol,” Brandt said. “We run driving records and stuff through (it).”
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.