Security Systems News

March 2011

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26 SPECIAL REPORT MARCH 2011 SECURITY SYSTEMS NEWS Training the central station: ‘Learning never stops’ T By Daniel Gelinas he controversy surrounding Article 6-E [See story, page 1]—proposed legisla- tion in New York that looks to vet and license central station employees—has many in the industry talking about training. There are plenty of virtual and classroom training options provided by industry associations like CSAA and SIA. And, many monitoring companies take full control and create their own training programs. Experts who spoke to Security Systems News seem to favor a hybrid approach, tak- ing advantage of a variety of methods to train employees: association-sponsored training, both online and classroom; as well as in-house expertise. John Lombardi is president of Fishkill, N.Y.- based CIA Security. He’s also CSAA second vice president and chairman of its Education Committee. “The industry is going through a transfor- mation from our traditional circuit switching technology to a significantly more sophisti- theplusfactor transmit video up to one mile! cated IP technology. Consequently, training is a requirement for survival,” he said. SIA’s education and training manager Kimberly Roberts believes an effective training program allows the trainer to get an ongoing assessment of a new hire’s readiness. “Training sharpens the skills of experienced operators and enforces the idea that continued growth is a job requirement,” Roberts said. “Monitoring has become much more com- plicated over the last 10 years,” said Mace CSSS vice president and general manager Morgan Hertel. “Without constant training you will slip behind as new technologies, new laws and new concepts emerge. It’s an ever-evolving, moving target.” Mace is UL-listed and CSAA Five Diamond Certified. “There’s two things: One is to provide a positive team atmosphere, and the other part is to make sure that they’re not just familiar with policies and procedures, but that they also learn about security and realize how important their job is,” Monitronics’ central station data entry director Mary Jensby said. Monitronics is one of the largest UL-listed, CSAA Five Diamond Certified third party centrals in the country. When Richmond Alarm Company moved HubWayEX Active UTP Transceiver Hubs Transmit high quality video over long distances more cost-effectively with HubWayEX – and reduce your system’s total cost of ownership.  Supports up to 32 analog cameras  Automatic picture and gain control  Automatic correction for reverse video polarity  Transmit video over structured cable up to one mile  Compact 1U EIA 19” chassis  115/230VAC input More than just power.™ Available at Lifetime Warranty • Made in the U.S.A. • 1.888.258.7669 • 4207MP Altronix HubWayEX w/ADI Logo 4.562” x4.875” RA into a much larger headquarters in 2010, the company’s training program really came into its own. “We never had a real classroom until we moved last year. So it’s been great to have that space for larger groups,” RAC president Wayne Boggs said. “We, through the State alarm association ... do our own training to the [Department of Criminal Justice Services] standard, so we can customize the eight hours of classroom time [the DCJS requires] to our specific needs after covering the state man- dates.” Richmond Alarm Company is not a CSAA member, but is UL-listed. Everyone with whom Security Systems News spoke utilized classroom-learning models and if they weren’t learning in a virtual environ- ment yet, were looking into it. “We don’t do much virtual training, though Wayne Boggs I do have that in the plan for the future,” RAC’s Boggs said. Dera DeRoche-Jolet is CFO at Alarm Monitoring Services in Monroe, La. She also is one of SIA’s national instructors from its old trainer-training course. SIA is revamping that course now, and DeRoche-Jolet will spearhead those efforts. “A virtual classroom makes a standard cur- riculum available on a more flexible schedule and allows a central station trainer to have access to a range of teaching tools,” DeRoche- Jolet said. “Virtual tools are particularly good for information that needs to be memorized, such as policies and procedures.” Jensby and Monitronics training coach Anne Glickstein agree each mode of training has its plusses. “Virtual training is designed for the individual who is a self-motiva- tor. Classroom training is designed more for building team atmosphere, and some people learn better that way,” Jensby said. “The other difference, too, is that which exists between training a new hire and training new upgrades to the existing staff,” Glickstein said. Mace’s Hertel agreed. “We use both virtual and classroom and both have their place in the industry,” Hertel said. “You can’t take a new employee off the street and run them through a few distance learning programs and instantly have a trained and competent dispatcher.” All agreed that regardless of what type of training an organization conducted, training had to be ongoing. “We never stop training. ,” RAC’s Boggs said. “Training is the basis of providing a quality service … Learning never stops.” SSN

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