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Rapid Response

My Alarm Center's new business model driving success

Organic growth strategy, new DIY division paying dividends

NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa.—My Alarm Center, a super-regional security company with a rapidly evolving national presence, is coming off an impressive year of organic growth, complemented by the success of its new DIY division, LivSecure.

Rapid Response plans new building

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Local news source recently reported that Rapid Response Monitoring is looking to expand its presence further in Syracuse with plans submitted for a new three-story building. The company is currently working on a 35,000 square-foot expansion of its headquarters, to be unveiled this spring.

Security Systems News has reported on Rapid's rapid growth previously. Here's a story about the expansion of the headquarters.

The report said, “The state has agreed to provide a $1 million grant through Gov. Andrew Cuomo's regional economic development council initiative to assist with the building's construction. According to Rapid Response, the 41,000-square-foot building will cost an estimated $8 million to build and approximately 50 jobs will be created.”

Contacted by Security Systems News, Rapid Response declined to comment on the project at this time.

The building will be mixed-use, according to, with offices and residential space. “The plans filed with the city Planning Commission show offices and a restaurant on the first floor, offices on the second floor, and offices and three apartments on the third floor. Rapid Response would occupy a portion of the building,” reported.

The new building will be about a two-minute walk from the company’s current headquarters. Rapid acquired the space in 2014, the report said.

RFI goes with Rapid Response

Wilson: Rapid has agility and has tech resources to serve ‘integrator of future’

SAN JOSE, Calif.—To provide more customized services to its clients, RFI Communications and Security Systems plans to close its internal monitoring station and outsource its monitoring to Rapid Response.

Rapid hires

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Rapid Response Monitoring is holding a hiring event at the Destiny USA mall in Syracuse, N.Y. Rapid Response held a similar event about 12 months ago.

Christopher Denniston told Security Systems News that last year’s event was “a very big success, so we’re doing the same thing again this year.”

“We’re working on expanding the Rapid team on both coasts,” Denniston said. The company is looking to have a similar event close to its Corona, Calif., facility, he said, but hasn’t finalized the event yet.

Denniston talked about the company’s goals for this event. “We’re looking to fill over 70 positions immediately, and then once the expansion is completed, that’ll bring that total to over 100,” Denniston said. The company is working on expanding its Syracuse headquarters from 40,000 to 75,000 square-feet this year.

“The 70 openings are primarily newly created positions, but some will fill roles vacated through internal career growth,” he said.

2015 was a good year for the company, Denniston said; Rapid Response “added some significant international business [last] year.”

How much international business did Rapid Response do previously? “We provided monitoring for a few dealers in the Caribbean on a smaller scale, but we’ve expanded that. … Today, we are monitoring for dealers in Bermuda and Cayman.”

Central station transformation

The IoT is pushing central monitoring stations to become more sophisticated. It requires significant investment in technology, development and staff to stay competitive

DELRAY BEACH, Fla.—The Internet of Things culture, where everything is connected, is changing the way people interact and the way business is transacted.

New positions at ADS, Rapid Response

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Updated Feb. 13, 2015

Alarm Detection Systems, based in Aurora, Ill., sought to strengthen its executive team by promoting six people to new roles. And today, as I write this, Rapid Response is looking to fill 70 or more positions for its headquarters in Syracuse N.Y.

As I’m looking over the current events of the industry, growth has been quite the theme, and these are companies that are growing by notable proportions.

At ADS, Amy Becker will become VP and Controller; Nick Bonifas, Corporate Counsel; Ken Mish, VP of Alarm Service and Call Center Operations; Peggy Raper, Call Center Manager; Rick Raper, VP of Central Station Services, Mark Schramm, VP and CIO.

“The alarm industry has changed more in the last five years than in the previous fifty. We need the talent, dedication and intelligence of every employee for ADS to remain the leading provider of security services. Fortunately, we have a committed staff that is up to the task,” said Bob Bonifas, ADS founder and CEO in a prepared statement.

Rapid Response is holding a career fair today to find candidates for openings, most of which are new positions, related to the company’s growth.

Read more on this development with ADS and the reason for this executive expansion

Rapid Response to hire 70

Syracuse company to host career fair

SYRACUSE, N.Y.—Rapid Response Monitoring, based here, hosted a career fair at the Destiny USA mall, also here, on Jan. 14, to hire candidates for more than 70 openings. The company planned to hold first-round interviews with applicants at the event.

Rapid Response hires new people has 'record year'

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

While searching for what’s new out there, I noticed that a Syracuse publication posted online that Rapid Response Monitoring hired 11 new people.

Upon following up with Christopher Denniston, marketing and communications manager for Rapid Response Monitoring, he stated that 2014 was a year of record growth for Rapid Response—the best year in its history.

“More dealers have chosen to transition to Rapid than ever before and our dealers have also experienced positive organic growth,” Denniston told Security Systems News in an email interview.

“Our people are our greatest asset and our dealer and account growth requires an increase in staff. Our hiring criteria are extremely stringent. We hire only four percent of applicants—the best of the best,” he said.

Rapid Response hired Dustin S. Jesmer, Lishay M. Mack, Carlos M. Valle Wemett, Connor J. Brown, Emily K. Buss, Steve L. Delgado, Amanda S. Lewis, David J. Martin and Aglaeth M. Vazquez as control center specialists. Cathryn M. Mahoney and Olivia N. Nobile were hired as accounting assistants.

Denniston listed further examples of this growth; “Our fully redundant monitoring center in California will have a grand opening in Q1 of 2015 and our headquarters' facility is undergoing an expansion bringing it from 40,000 square feet to 75,000 square feet.”

ASAP getting closer to reaching ‘critical mass’

Central stations stepping up to speed alarm notifications to PSAPs

YARMOUTH, Maine—After big strides in 2012 that put an array of technical and logistical challenges behind it, the Automated Secure Alarm Protocol is getting closer to reaching “critical mass” nationwide, according to ASAP proponent Ed Bonifas.

Riders on the storm: Central stations take Sandy in stride

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The snowy remnants of Hurricane Sandy are still blowing across the ridges of West Virginia, but the worst is over for the Eastern Seaboard. Now the recovery begins. And as is the case with any natural disaster, preparation holds the key to the extent of the difficulties ahead.

The lesson—one that’s often learned the hard way—is that it pays to do your homework and have a backup plan in place. The monitoring industry prides itself on that, of course, a fact that was validated by a quick SSN survey of central stations in the Northeast after the storm. It showed that while Sandy packed a tremendous punch, the industry was ready to handle it.

Long Island, N.Y., was one of the areas hit hardest by the storm, with thousands of homes damaged and nearly 1 million customers left without power Monday night. Andy Lowitt, vice president of dealer relations for Hicksville-based Metrodial, said via email Tuesday that despite the horrific damage in the area, the central station weathered the storm.

“Lots of downed trees and power lines … 912,000 [on Long Island] without power today versus 934,000 this morning, so tons of customers with beeping keypads, smokes and carbons,” Lowitt wrote. “Our natural-gas generator powered our central from 3 p.m. yesterday until power was restored today around 2 p.m. We had some valiant efforts of operators making it in during the day yesterday. Most PDs and some FDs stopped responding during the overnight hours and at one point we had over 3,000 signals in queue.”

New Jersey was also pounded by Sandy, but COPS Monitoring in Williamstown was prepared and took it all in stride, according to Executive Vice President Don Maden.

“In short, we proactively re-routed a percentage of alarm traffic away from N.J. to other sites, and significantly increased staffing at our other four central station locations,” he wrote in an email Tuesday. “We had 100 percent uptime in N.J. with services, did not lose power, and handled nearly double the normal alarm traffic across our network of central stations yesterday. Today, as expected, was heavy with alarm activity as well. [Generators] kicked on due to a few power flickers, but the grid stayed up.”

Don Piston, vice president of sales and marketing for Dynamark Monitoring in Hagerstown, Md., also reported heavy alarm volume but said “we knew that was coming.”

“We did great. We got battered with AC power loss and low battery signals because of all the power outages, so the traffic was just huge,” he told SSN on Wednesday morning. “But we sailed right through. We had the staffing in place. It’s almost no news because we did everything we were supposed to do.”

Despite Sandy’s mammoth strength and reach, it didn’t cause a lot of damage in Syracuse, N.Y.—just 250 miles from New York City and the home of Rapid Response Monitoring. Morgan Hertel, vice president of operations, said Wednesday that at the height of the storm, “we were getting pizzas delivered by the local pizza place. [Sandy] really wasn’t a big deal. It was like business as usual.”

That might have been the case meteorologically, but it wasn’t the case when it came to alarm traffic. At the peak, “we were seeing well over 100 signals a second coming in,” Hertel said, adding that Rapid is well versed in storm preparation and had extra staffing in place.

“We’re back to normal shifts today,” he said. “The technology did what it was supposed to do, the people did what they were supposed to do, and quite honestly we couldn’t be happier with the result. We even saved a few lives along the way.”