PPVAR looks to update standards, implement new training in 2018

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

FRESNO, Calif.—The Partnership for Priority Verified Alarm Response is working to release updated best practices on video and audio verified alarms and put out new verification training modules for operators in the coming year.

PPVAR recently opened the standards for feedback and is looking to publish the new versions in Q1 2018. “We tried to put some framework around how verification should be handled, since we have greater technologies and things now,” Joey Rao-Russell, PPVAR’s vice president, told Security Systems News.

The partnership is working on training modules for monitoring operators and hopes to release the first training module in 2018.

Threat levels, which define the situation of an alarm and its urgency, will be a topic of the modules, Rao-Russell said. An operator would judge an alarm to be a Threat Level 1, 2 or 3. A Threat Level 1 threat would mean no human is present. A Threat Level 2 would be when a person is detected but there are not signs of a crime. A human would be present with a possible crime in progress for a Threat Level 3.

Most of the time, an operator is “going to have to consume information, and you may have to look at multiple clips, and you may have to listen to multiple audio sensors, and you may have to understand that site and that location and talk with [the responsible party] and make a decision,” Rao-Russell said.

The training module will define these threat levels with examples as well as present methods for making that determination for the operators taking the course. Operators will then be able to relay more information to the PSAP dispatcher in the event of an alarm.

The partnership also plans to build a training module for PSAP centers, “so that we’re using the same information, hopefully the same threat levels,” said Rao-Russell. “If we can get the PSAPs and the ASAPs talking in the same exact language, just like the automation software does, imagine the efficiencies that can be gained by both sides.”

PPVAR recently added two new board members from law enforcement. “We did a long process of interviews and resumes,” Rao-Russell said. One is the director of fire and emergency services for a township, another is the director of public safety for another township, and has extensive experience with PSAPs, Rao-Russell said.

Having input from law enforcement and hearing their perspective is important to PPVAR, Rao-Russell noted. “We’re very dedicated to hearing [from] and having the participation of law enforcement,” she said. “At the end of the day, no matter what we may think is right as an industry, no matter what we may think our subscribers and our clients wish, it’s all for the idea that we are doing it to protect their business and their homes and to do that we have to be able to get first responders there.”