Acadian Monitoring opens new video and access division

Thursday, April 10, 2008

LAFAYETTE, La.--Acadian Monitoring Services, a monitoring company located here, on March 3 opened a new video and access control monitoring division called America OnWatch. "We have some strong integrators that convinced us to go to market to be their central for [video monitoring] because they saw the opportunity in this sector as well," said Blane Comeaux, vice president of monitoring services for Acadian.
America OnWatch is the fifth security monitoring division for the company which also includes Acadian OnWatch, central alarm monitoring; Acadian On Call, personal emergency response services monitoring; Acadian Telehealth Monitoring, health and diagnostic monitoring; and Mobile Monitoring Services, GPS vehicle and access tracking.
Acadian Monitoring is part of Acadian Ambulance Service, which serves as the largest privately owned ambulance service in the United States with more than 2,700 employees, said Comeaux. Acadian maintains two separate monitoring centers. The first is for its ambulance dispatch 911 PSAP call center, which serves a large part of the Southeast including parts of Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi. The second call center is its alarm monitoring divisions and services.
While the two call centers are separate entities with separate ownership, Matt Jimenez, operations manager for Acadian, said that the employees they hired for the new video and access control division are similar to the personnel in its PSAP center. "We were looking for and developing in our [video monitoring] personnel a command and control-type environment," he said. "The protocols that we would use for dispatching and notification would be similar to what we use for our command and control [PSAP] operations."
Comeaux said video and access control monitoring division personnel require "a different skill-set than the typical alarm handler," he said. "We looked for people with some type of law enforcement or crime prevention background ... and we ended up with state troopers who had worked in the gaming sector, loss prevention specialists and a former video analyst," he said.
The video and access control division utilizes an Immix SureView software platform. "We chose Immix because it's an open architecture platform that integrates with various mainstream field devices, DVRs, IP cameras and we're currently working on some analytics integration," said Jimenez.
Comeaux said that the America OnWatch video and access control division had been in the works for about eight months before its March opening.