EMERgency24 partners with first ‘RERS’ provider

BluePoint provides rapid emergency response system
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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

DES PLAINES, Ill.—EMERgency24, a monitoring center based here, partnered with BluePoint Alert Solutions, to offer a rapid emergency response systems (RERS): a new system capable of two-way communication between first responders and people inside a building under threat.

EMERgency24 announced and showcased the products at ISC West. “[People] saw the value in it … how it is needed now, and how it could be applied immediately,” Pat Devereaux, EMERgency24 SVP, told Security Systems News.

When the system is activated—through a variety of devices; including mobile fobs, pull stations or gunshot sensors—EMERgency24’s central station sends out notifications.

“First responders receive an email, text or [other] communication, and we send them a link to the incident command portal for that facility,” Kevin Lehan, EMERgency24 manager of public relations told SSN.

“After first responders click on that link, they gain control of this communication portal,” Lehan said. The portal is web-based, making it easily accessible from a wide variety of platforms.

Text messages, images, email and voice calls can be sent in to contribute information on the incident. That could include photos of an attacker, visual descriptions by text messages, or reports of injuries.

“Those responses that come back to us will be filtered through an intelligent software that will pinpoint the most commonly used terms,” which will aid the accuracy of authorities’ response, Lehan said.

“The authorities also have the capabilities of sending a message into the building. For example, they can say, ‘we are on our way’ [or] ‘the west stairwell is secure,’” Devereaux said. “The two-way communication is available for them to talk into the building and for … people in the building to talk to them.”

EMERgency24’s system can use the existing sensors, such as video cameras, as well as the specific location of the alarm to locate a threat.

EMERgency had been working on an RERS for a couple years.

“When BluePoint told us that they had hardware that would be specific to an invasion of a school or office environment, we were able to take what we had been working on and apply it to that, and bring out the incident command and control center,” Devereaux said.

BluePoint was launched two years ago following the school shooting in Newtown, Conn. The company started with the question, “Why don’t we have a system, like fire alarms, to get police to strike faster and alert everyone in the building of a tragedy,” John Shales, one of the partners of BluePoint, told SSN.

Emergency24 has been working with BluePoint for about six months, Deveraux said.

So far, Shales said, installations in 40 buildings have been brought online, many in northern Illionis. BluePoint’s sales goal is 300 installations by the end of 2016, Shales said.

Schools, hospitals, libraries and churches are viable vertical markets for the system, he said.