Interest in a technology standard designed to eliminate manual phone calls from alarm companies to 911 centers when the alarms sound is surging among local governments. Advocates of the new standard say it removes two to three minutes of processing time from 911 calls, enabling responders to arrive at emergency sites that much faster.
The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) endorsed the standard in January 2009. At that point, roughly a dozen agencies had expressed interest in adopting it, according to Bill Hobgood, public safety team project manager of the Richmond, Va., Department of IT. He led pilot testing of the standard in Richmond, which eliminated 5,000 calls during its two-year time span before APCO endorsed the standard. Hobgood said 60 agencies have now pledged to adopt or expressed interest in the technology.
For more of this story, go to Emergency Management.