WARRENDALE, Pa. — Guardian Protection Services recently achieved the successful implementation of ASAP-to-PSAP processing protocol for the communication of alarm information to the City of Richmond, Va. The protocol went live after successful data transmissions between Guardian’s U.L.-certified CSAA Five Diamond monitoring center and the Richmond’s 911 center.
ASAP is the American National Standard (from American National Standards Institute or ANSI) for computer to computer-aided dispatch system data exchange created by the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) and the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO). The ASAP/PSAP protocol reduces the telephone-based relay currently in place by allowing a computer at an emergency dispatch center (the PSAP) to process data. It is considered the next generation for the processing of information between alarm monitoring stations and emergency dispatch centers. The protocol was developed through the joint partnership of APCO, CSAA and Nlets, a non-profit organization founded by U.S. law enforcement agencies.
The plan for Guardian to integrate ASAP-to-PSAP was contingent upon the upgrade of its MAStermind monitoring platform to MAS 6.3, explains Jim Breisinger, Guardian’s vice president of information technology. The entire process took about six weeks to complete.
“We had this in place therefore our next step was to configure MAS for the protocol. It was extremely important MAS be notified that we were preparing to activate this module in our monitoring platform and that the configuration comply with MAS and ASAP requirements,” Breisinger says. “We also wanted the assurance from MAS that they would be there to support us, and they were.”
Guardian’s IT, data entry and central station personnel worked together to create, analyze and verify the company’s customer database. “It was required that our customer data be formatted in compliance with ASAP standards; this is important in completing the emergency dispatch process successfully,” says Jason Bradley, central station director.
Guardian — among the top 10 largest security providers to join the ASAP program and begin delivering alarm notifications to the Richmond 911 emergency communications center — worked closely with Bill Hobgood, project manager for the city’s DIT public safety team.
“The Guardian staff was easy to work with and able to complete the required certification testing with Richmond in an expeditious manner. Guardian is a welcome addition to the ASAP program,” Hobgood says.
According to Bradley, Guardian has prepared its internal staff and developed methods and procedures to support the deployment of the ASAP-to-PSAP protocol. “Following data verification, we tested the communication network between Guardian and Richmond, and after instance testing met the satisfaction of City of Richmond and Guardian personnel, we went live,” Breisinger says.
Guardian is a member of the CSAA and a charter member of the ASAP-to-PSAP program, which is underway in various cities and municipalities throughout the U.S. It is expected to grow based on its goal of reducing unwarranted alarm signals and call volume to 911 centers and decreasing processing time. The program is expected to save PSAP, law enforcement, fire and emergency services millions of dollars in staff time that can be utilized for other purposes, as well as helping to ensure quicker response times.
“Now that we have seen and witnessed the ease of use and benefits to all parties, especially our customers, we will certainly be promoting it and working to implement ASAP-to-PSAP in other areas where it is available,” says Joe Colosimo, president of Guardian Protection Services.