This month Simon Banks talks to Paul Miller, a Chartered Security Professional and Managing Director of National Monitoring, Paul has been integral in the establishment of ECHO (Electronic Call Handling Operation).
For those still unaware of ECHO, can you tell us about the work you are doing?
ECHO is a not-for-profit organisation delivering automated alarm signalling and messaging between ARCs and blue light services, speeding up the deployment of responders to emergencies. As more emergency services become ECHO-connected the potential for the more rapid intervention of responders at protected premises is widening. When alarms are activated, the police response is estimated at 1-4 minutes quicker as a direct result of being ECHO-connected.
How well has ECHO been received by the industry?
The Police and ARC groups have welcomed this initiative and have been supportive throughout, alongside our stakeholder group, which includes all the leading industry associations. The next stage for us is to demonstrate the value that ECHO provides to Alarm Installers and their customers. Ultimately, it will be end-users who will benefit from ECHO as they will experience a vast improvement in response times. We also believe this will also be a useful tool for Installers, as a unique selling point and benefit over Apps to 999 systems which are unlikely to receive a police response. ECHO-connected ARCs will get a faster Police response for their customers.
How important is the role played by the ECHO Platform Integrators?
Whilst we have several ECHO-connected providers, only two are ECHO Platform Integrators – CSL and BT Redcare. These Integrators play a vital role in transferring the alarms from the ARC’s AMS to the Police. Without their expertise and reliability, the ECHO system would not have been possible. The Integrators have their own dual redundancy in place with backup processes at every stage. This guarantees the transfer of alarms, quickly and securely, from point A (the protected premises) to B (the ARC) and then on to C (Emergency Services).
It was important to the ECHO board that we selected Integrators who were the true experts in alarm signalling. With hundreds of thousands of connections into all UK ARCs, CSL and BT Redcare were an obvious choice and their expertise and professionalism have helped us to deliver this ground-breaking solution. Installers can be sure, that their ECHO service is in good hands!
How has the progress of the ECHO project been recognised by the sector?
I attended the recent British Security Awards in London. The event recognised security officers and companies working to keep people, property and places professionally protected, especially during the last 18 months. I was delighted that ECHO was announced as the winner of the National Partnership Award. Another recognition for the great work we are doing, bringing stakeholders together from across the sector, to deliver something fit-for-purpose for now and the future.
For more information about ECHO, please visit: www.echo.uk.net
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