Category: Emergency Response Link


Category: Emergency Response Link

West Corporation

Posted on June 1, 2017 by West Corporation 


Using GIS Data to Improve Alarm Monitoring Center Operations

By: Mary Jo Lakhal, Sr. Program Manager

As I mentioned in a previous post, to optimize alarm monitoring center performance, you need AHJ contact data that is highly accurate and available in real time. Of these two attributes, I believe data accuracy is the more difficult to achieve.

I know from experience that even with a dedicated, full-time staff, creating and maintaining an agency contact database is challenging. Frequently, the consolidation of jurisdictions or adjustments to jurisdictional boundaries result in hours of work tracking which subscribers must be assigned to a new agency.

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West Corporation

Posted on May 18, 2017 by West Corporation 


The Critical Link Between AHJ Data and Your Monitoring Center

By: Mary Jo Lakhal, Sr. Program Manager

As many of you in the security and alarm industry know, West specializes in 9-1-1 technology and solutions for public safety, carriers, companies and educational organizations. In 9-1-1, the accuracy of the data (the caller’s location) and the speed at which that data is delivered to public safety are key to successful emergency outcomes.

Obviously, the faster we can identify where a 9-1-1 caller is, the better. Speed without accuracy sends first responders to the wrong address. Accuracy without speed delays response times and puts lives at risk.

We know this is true in the alarm industry, too—particularly in the monitoring center, where speed and efficiency translates to improved ROI and satisfied subscribers (less churn).

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West Corporation

Posted on April 8, 2015 by West Corporation 


It’s a Tool, Not an Invasion!

Data is important. Reliable data is key!After many years of service in the alarm monitoring industry, I understand the prevalent concern about subscriber data accuracy. There seems to be some confusion about why there are data problems. In my opinion, it’s simply a matter of misunderstanding.

Unfortunately, many people have had negative experiences with telemarketers, compromised identity issues or other privacy concerns. When alarm companies’ customer service or sales agents ask for required information, subscribers may not understand that the data is necessary and stored in their monitoring account to actually help their alarm company keep the SAFE in the event of an emergency.

The lack of accurate, actionable contact data may compromise the ability of the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) to respond to a subscriber’s alarm activation. Here are some things for alarm companies to think about when processing subscriber data:

  • The subscriber’s mailing address may be different from the address that the AHJ uses to find them; subscriber addresses should be validated against what is known as the master street address guide (MSAG).
  • The subscriber may have recently moved into a new property and may not provide an accurate address to the alarm company.
  • Subscribers, or their legal representatives, may neglect to inform the alarm company when the phone number for their monitored location is changed.
  • Company acquisitions pose an additional problem with location and contact data; subscribers may not understand HOW to update their information with the new alarm company.
  • In certain circumstances, the subscriber’s address may change due to municipal realignment or renaming, annexation, incorporation, etc.

New technology that can help alarm companies understand and provide “AHJ-valid” address or location of subscribers is now available. “Bad” addresses are identified while an account is still new – before an alarm is activated. Additionally, the systems identify jurisdictions of police, fire, medical and PERS AHJs, supplying alarm companies with accurate subscriber location data in spite of information they may have received otherwise. In turn, this accurate data identifies the customer’s location for the AHJ, enables the alarm company to contact them and improves the probability that the AHJ will respond to their alarm activation.

True security is built upon a foundation of reliable data. 

Mary Jo Lakhal is Sr. Program Manager at Intrado, specializing in emergency response concerns for the alarm industry.


West Corporation

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