Will help guide the organization in its quest to improve the safety and effectiveness of the emergency response community by championing alarm verification prior to notification
State College, Pa., (July 14, 2020)—Mission Critical Partners (MCP), a leading public safety consulting and information technology (IT) support services firm, today announced that John Chiaramonte, president of the firm’s consulting division, was appointed to the board of directors of the Partnership for Priority Verified Alarm Response (PPVAR). In his role at MCP, Chiaramonte leads more than 80 public safety subject-matter experts who are dedicated to improving clients’ emergency response outcomes. He is an SME in emergency communications, particularly legacy and next-generation 911, and is a certified emergency number professional (ENP).
PPVAR is focused on establishing a partnership between the electronic alarm industry and the public safety sector with a goal of achieving priority verified alarm response. At PPVAR’s recent annual meeting, Tom Nakatani, vice president of information technology (IT) and monitoring technology for ADT, was elected president and welcomed Chiaramonte to the board. “We’re pleased to have John’s expertise and passion for the industry on our board,” Nakatani said.
Priority verified alarm response leverages video and audio to verify alarm activity. The intent is to reduce the number of unverified alarm notifications that are received by emergency communications centers (ECCs). It is estimated that alarm companies generate about 23 million alarm notifications each year—and nearly 100 percent of them are unverified.
When police and fire departments respond to unverified alarms, valuable resources are used unnecessarily, which often delays response to other legitimate events, emergency responders also are placed at needless risk when they respond to an incident that isn’t real. In addition, costs associated with responding to such alarms are staggering, estimated at about $2 billion annually. Consequently, some police and sheriff’s departments in the United States no longer respond to unverified alarms.
Moreover, with up to 20 percent of all 911 calls received by ECCs being alarm activations, verifying whether those activations are legitimate would have enormous impact on the 911 system, Chiaramonte said. Providing more accurate, reliable, and actionable information to 911, through a verified-alarm process, helps alarm companies, 911 telecommunicators and first responders be more efficient while protecting the community’s limited resources.
“For example, many ECCs are understaffed, so reducing the number of unverified alarms, even by a small amount, would enable telecommunicators to answer true emergency calls and dispatch the appropriate response more quickly, resulting in more lives saved,” Chiaramonte said.
An approach that PPVAR is exploring involves standardized alarm-verification scoring. Video, audio and sensor data generated by an alarm system in a business or residence would be analyzed in real-time before being sent to the ECC. As part of the analysis, an algorithm would calculate a score for the event that would guide the emergency-response community in prioritizing its response.
“For example, having access to video from inside a bank provides valuable details to responding law enforcement personnel compared with a simple notification that an alarm activation occurred,” Chiaramonte said. “Access to the video and an alarm-verification score would be shared with the ECC to help it determine what type of law-enforcement response is warranted, if any.”
The ability to verify and prioritize alarm notifications not only is expected to reduce costs dramatically, but also keep responders safer, e.g., a fire truck cannot be involved in a vehicle crash if it has not been dispatched to the scene of an unverified alarm.
“The work being done by PPVAR is very important and I am excited to support their mission,” Chiaramonte said.
About Mission Critical Partners (MCP)
Mission Critical Partners (MCP) is an independent consulting and IT support services firm that helps clients enhance and evolve their public safety systems and operations through our extensive experience, knowledge and resources. By providing insight and support every step of the way, our clients are able to transform their mission critical operations, maximizing the value of their investments and ensuring optimal performance and success. Additional information and career opportunities are available at www.MissionCriticalPartners.com.
PPVAR (www.PPVAR.org) was established to educate all electronic security stakeholders on the value of video to verify alarm activity during the dispatch process and ultimately reduce false alarms and increase apprehension rates for burglar-alarm customers.
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