City Pioneers American National Standard

The City of Richmond, in partnership with the County of York, Va., recently pioneered the pilot and development of a new American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard to enhance the electronic data exchange between alarm monitoring companies and 911 centers. This is the first time that the City of Richmond has pioneered an American National Standard.

The standard was subsequently approved by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO), and allows alarm companies that monitor burglar, hold-up, fire, and medical alarms to bypass calling 911 centers via telephone to deliver the notice of an alarm signal. Rather, this data will be delivered to the 911 centers electronically, resulting in a two to three minute reduction in processing and response time by police, fire, and emergency medical first responders. This reduced response time will likely increase the speed and efficiency of apprehending criminals, extinguishing fires, and saving lives.

“This standard will greatly improve the operational efficiency of 911 centers, positively impacting the safety of citizens and the community,” said City Police Chief Bryan Norwood.

Nationwide, a potential of 32,000,000 fewer telephone calls to 911 centers from alarm monitoring companies is possible as computer-aided dispatch providers, alarm monitoring software providers, and 911 centers adapt to the new standard.

“While the data-exchange standard allows alarm-monitoring companies to send data directly into a 911 computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system, the alarm-monitoring company is still responsible for verifying the alarm as may be required by local ordinances and the alarm-monitoring company’s standard operating procedures,” said City Department of Information Technology Public Safety Team Project Manager Bill Hobgood. “The CAD system will continue to validate the address before forwarding the information to the communications officer assigned to a radio dispatch position.”

Contact: Michael Wallace, (804) 646-2772