Healthcare is growth vertical for Alarm & Suppression

The upstate N.Y. company finds hospitals a source of ongoing projects
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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

GLENVILLE, N.Y.—Hospitals have proved to be a strong vertical for Alarm & Suppression Inc., a full-service fire company based here.
The healthcare sector has been adding jobs nationally and has been a bright spot during the economic downturn, according to a recent report in The Wall Street Journal.
In upstate New York, hospitals are continually renovating and expanding, providing ongoing work, Brad Nelson, project engineer/senior technician for Alarm & Suppression, told Security Systems News.
“There does seem to be a lot of healthcare work going on right now,” Nelson said. And he said that while Alarm & Suppression works in almost any type of vertical, its experience in healthcare facilities has made it “increasingly good and very efficient in that type of environment.”
Two facilities that Alarm & Suppression has been working with are St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany, N.Y., and the Albany Stratton VA Medical Center, Nelson said.
He said Alarm & Suppression, which he described as a “mom-and-pop type of alarm company” founded about two decades ago and now with about 20 employees, started working with St. Peter’s about seven years ago. The hospital has a Notifier by Honeywell alarm system and Alarm & Suppression is a Notifier by Honeywell distributor, so it was hired to do the hospital’s inspection, testing and maintenance, he said.
But at that time, Nelson said, the hospital also was “starting a multi-year master facilities plan, so right away we started getting contracts for new projects inside the hospital.”
Alarm & Suppression started work at the Stratton VA in 2008, doing a large project that “was a total gut of the old fire alarm system and a total brand-new install with the Notifier equipment,” Nelson said. One of the challenges, he said, was that the Veterans Administration had “a very specific voice evacuation sequence they wanted to happen, and there was a lot of equipment that needed to be installed to make that happen.”
The project finished in 2010, but Nelson said Alarm & Suppression continues to be involved with ongoing renovations at the hospital and “we’re also doing a new nuclear medicine building behind the hospital.”
At both facilities, Nelson said, Alarm & Suppression has installed graphics computers made by Notifier that can display the entire floor plan of each hospital with a click of a mouse and can zoom in on any detector.
“The graphics computer is one big thing that’s definitely a trend we’ve been seeing,” Nelson said.