Summer school!

Associations beef up educational offerings for summer/fall
Tuesday, September 1, 2009

VIENNA and RICHMOND, Va.--SIA and the CSAA are improving their educational offerings for industry professionals.

SIA has added new features to its highly regarded Central Station Operator/Instructor Training course. The CST course will now include expanded instruction on: ETL certification; how to read formats (with an explanation of the various languages); alternate signal delivery to include IP and GSM, as well as other topics. CSAA for the first time can offer CEUs to attendees of its well-attended, annual Fall Operations Management Seminar, to be held this year Sept. 15 in Addison, Texas.

According to CSAA VP of marketing & programs Celia Besore, earning CEUs is a tremendous value-added benefit. "The CSAA mid-year meetings offered CEUs, but this is the first time we will offer CEUs for attending the CSAA Fall Operations Management Seminar. NBFAA's National Training School reviewed our curriculum and granted us .8 CEUs," Besore said. "Now those attending the seminar will not only get great information and benefit from great networking, but will receive educational credits, which many need to be licensed or maintain their licenses in their states."

Diebold operations manager Karl Ide traveled from Hawaii to Peabody, Mass., for 2008's seminar. "We flew all the way out here to network with our peers and get their ideas on training," Ide said in an interview last year. "We've gained lots of ideas on how to improve our operations ... this was quite a long trip, but it was well worth it."

Kristi Harris, VP of Birmingham, Ala.-based ESC Central, Inc., is a SIA instructor who will be leading one of the updated courses. "The new content expands upon the fundamentals that operators need to perform their jobs, such as verification, false alarms, CP-01, and technologies that provide enhanced monitoring," Harris said in an email interview. "Our industry is constantly changing and by updating the content of the course, instructors will be better equipped to prepare their operators with what they need to know each day."

Richmond Alarm Company central station manager Patricia Morse had high praise for the SIA CST program, which she attended in October of 2008. "I've been in the industry since 1998 and I learned more in that class than I had in my entire time in the security industry," Morse said. "I've taken a lot of classes and I've gone to a lot of conferences, and gotten a lot of certifications, but I never hung a certificate on my office wall until I got that one."