Nation’s Capital Adopts ASAP Alarm Response Program

WASHINGTON — The Office of Unified Communications (OUC) has implemented the Automated Secure Alarm Protocol (ASAP), a computer-aided dispatch system that streamlines notifications for emergency dispatch from alarm monitoring companies.

OUC is the primary 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) serving Washington, D.C. The government agency joins recent similar ASAP implementations in Virginia (York County and Richmond), Houston and elsewhere.

“ASAP is another tool, coupled with other programs implemented by the OUC, in our continuing efforts to provide quality public safety communications services for the citizens of the District of Columbia,” says OUC Director Jennifer Greene. 

ASAP was developed through a partnership between the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) Int’l and the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA). It is an accredited standard with American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The automated system works to streamline the delivery of alarm data between the central station and 9-1-1 PSAPs, reduce 9-1-1 processing by minutes, and lessen the chance of human error.  

On Oct. 26, Pittsburgh-based Vector Security began transmitting alarm notifications directly to the OUC’s computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system. Two more alarm companies are slated to be on-line by January, with dozens more joining the program in 2013, according to APCO. Collectively, the alarm companies account for more than 55,000 alarm notifications annually to the OUC. More than 6,500 alarm-related data exchanges between the OUC and participating alarm companies have been processed.

Stephen Williams, OUC COO, says  calls generated via ASAP are managed more accurately due to the reduction of miscommunication. “It will help reduce the workload of the 9-1-1 call-takers, allowing them to focus more on handling emergency 9-1-1 calls from our citizens.”

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