New system helps alarm companies communicate with 911

- The men and women of the 911 call center in Manatee County have no time to spare.

In a job where every second counts, a new system is helping speed up response to certain calls.

It's called Automated Secure Alarm Protocol – or ASAP - and, just like its name, it allows alarm companies to send information straight to the 911 call center. It will help get first responders to a home or business faster than before.

Dispatcher Gerry Tenorio works quickly, listening closely to each and every caller. Surprisingly, he says response to calls from alarm companies typically take the longest. They require extra attention to ensure details came over correctly.

“We would ask a set of questions that are script for our protocols and basically the biggest issues we had before was getting the proper address from the alarm company and I think, sometimes that took the longest time,” Tenorio explained.

But the ASAP system could streamline that process. Manatee County has become the second in Florida and 25th in the nation to try it.

ASAP will send dispatchers the information electronically and ASAP automatically tells them if the call is medical, crime or fire related. It eliminates the need for a phone call from the alarm company, freeing up dispatchers to take more calls while getting first responders to the scene 2-3 minutes faster. It’s 180 seconds that could mean the difference between life and death.

“Their computer is tied directly into our computers at dispatch,” explained Manatee County’s Emergency Communications Chief Jake Saur. “The average response time is about nine minutes. Shaving 2 to 3 minutes off of that is tremendous, as far as someone is not breathing. Someone is in cardiac arrest, burglary in process. The faster the better.”

The manatee county 911 call center is working with nine different alarm companies on the ASAP system, including ADT and Vector Security Systems.

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