State farm to host course

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Saturday, January 1, 2005

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - State Farm Central Monitoring Services, the proprietary central station of insurance firm State Farm, announced plans to host an Oregon certification trainer course at its headquarters here in mid-January.

When completed, the course enables individuals to train and certify operators to receive alarm signals from Oregon, which is a state requirement. In addition to trainers, the course also certifies executive and supervisory managers.

“If you are an operator, you should be able to pass the exam,” said Joe Miskulin, superintendent at State Farm, who said the company does not have a high operator attrition rate. But, in the event someone does leave, they currently have no method to fill the position with a qualified operator.

State farm previously had a certified trainer on site. However, this individual has been stationed in Iraq since January 2004.

Karen Evans, from the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training, offered to come to Bloomington to teach the class and administer the test. Evans proposed that State Farm and the public safety department split the costs of travel expenses, provided that at least 10 people enroll in the class. This arrangement could result in a significant cost savings for State Farm, regardless if other organizations take the company up on its offer.

State licensing requirements are a tender spot within the security industry. Central stations, for example, begrudge the fact that they must pay for airfare, in some cases, and spend time to travel outside of their home states to pass tests on material they have already proven competent.

In November, the Alarm Industry Communications Committee completed work on a proposed piece of legislation to enable license reciprocity within the United States.

The Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training started traveling to areas outside of Oregon approximately one and one-half years ago.

“We recognized the need and the financial burden” central stations face, said Evans. “We really appreciate this opportunity to provide this training to managers and supervisors.”

Evans and her co-workers have traveled to teach these classes to states such as Kansas, Minnesota, New York and Texas. Classes have been held at companies that include ADT Security, Rapid Response and retailer Target.

As of press time, according to Miskulin, approximately two individuals from State Farm will take the course and an ADT representative from Kansas City expressed interest for up to 10 people to take the class, as well.