Fourth association offers open fire, burg training

Friday, November 1, 2002

DAYTON, Ohio - One of the industry's low-profile trade associations that prides itself on training is collaborating with heavyweight Security Industry Association on an alarm technician training course that will be offered online.

The National Alarm Association of America, based here, has offered different types of training for the alarm industry since its inception in 1984, including an entry level course for alarm technicians offered both in a home study format and in a classroom setting currently being held in New York City. The NAAA has also developed sales and service curriculum for CCTV.

The group recently forged an agreement with SIA to reuse the content of the NAAA's alarm technician's course in the development of an online class that will be available through SIA and through the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association's National Training School.

Collaborating on the online course is the first time the two groups have worked together, said Jay Hanger, director of education and technical services for SIA. The new class will be called Electronic Security Systems Technician (ESST) and will be available in early 2003 on the association's learning website,

"Our intent is to build these courses to be interactive and that required multimedia…and (the NAAA) had the visuals and images," Hanger said.

Founded by the original publisher and owner of Alarm Installer Dealer magazine, now known as Security Sales & Integration, the NAAA boasts about 300 independent alarm company members, said Gene Riddlebaugh, NAAA president.

"We don't go for the membership…and we're not a political organization, but what we do is provide training," Riddlebaugh said.

The NAAA does promote the organization's training through appearances at industry trade shows and through its website, but the group does little advertising or other promotions. Instead, it focuses on the development of its training programs, which, along with the annual dues of $100, support the organization's small administrative staff. Training is open to members and non-members of the association.

"There is still a need for training out there, as more and more states get fed up with the way the alarm industry had handled itself over the years, meaning promising that they would reduce false alarms, but not doing much about it," Riddlebaugh said. "We believe as the industry does that training is the best way to reduce false alarms, not only training your own staff, but you have to train the customer."

The NAAA also offers the training manuals for NICET training, levels one through four, as well as local pre-test training for that certification, through its website,