EMERgency24 Now Offering PERS Monitoring

EMERgency24, a third-party monitoring company based in Chicago, used the recent ESX 2008 tradeshow in Nashville, Tenn., to officially launch its entrance into the personal emergency response system (PERS) market.

A PERS solution consists of a small two-way radio transmitter or “help button” carried or worn by the user, a console connected to the user’s telephone, and an emergency response center, such as EMERgency24, that monitors calls. Users include disabled or elderly persons living alone who can summon help in an emergency.

EMERgency24 integrated PERS solutions by Linear and Visonic into its offering, although it can work with any manufacturer that has fully duplexed equipment. While already trained to handle two-way voice/medical emergency calls, the company’s monitoring operators received additional instruction to deal specifically with PERS activations.

“Many of these subscribers are older and infirmed. They sometimes get confused. Our monitors are trained to recognize these differences and variables and take the extra steps to be sure these subscribers are served well,” Kevin McCarthy, national sales manager, EMERgency24, tells SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION. “Monitors need to ask questions and take direction from subscriber in order to execute the call properly. In many cases, the monitor stays on the call until help arrives.”

With more than 40 million Americans over the age of 65, PERS provides an alternative to nursing homes and extended care facilities by allowing people to remain independent and in their own homes longer, McCarthy says. “Baby boomers are embracing the technology and purchasing the equipment for their own parents and other elderly relatives,” he says.

EMERgency24 is also providing additional services to help its dealers enter the burgeoning PERS market. Dealers can drop off or ship PERS equipment to the company, which in turn will program the devices and ship directly to the subscriber.

“If the individual dealer wants us to, we provide a customer care piece as well. We walk the subscriber through the set-up and testing of the equipment to make sure that they are comfortable using the product and service,” McCarthy says.

Dealers can also receive free marketing materials, such as mailers and billing inserts, customized with their logo. McCarthy says the company also plans to run larger marketing campaigns in the future, taking advantage of its national footprint to help dealers market locally.

Dealers should be looking no further than their existing customer base to offer PERS, which can be a “quick and easy sale in this slow economy,” McCarthy says.

“Word-of-mouth and minimal local marketing will sell this product and service, and with our fulfillment capabilities, dealers can expand their service offerings without expanding their staff,” he says.

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