Summer school!

Industry associations beefing up educational offerings for summer/fall
Thursday, July 30, 2009

VIENNA and RICHMOND, Va.—The Security Industry Association and the Central Station Alarm Association are improving their educational offerings for industry professionals this year.

SIA has added new features to its already highly regarded Central Station Operator/Instructor Training course. Beginning with the August class in Alexandria, Va., the CST course will 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 at the Operations seminar will be 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 and how they operate within their central station,” 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, vice president 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. The modernized content will allow these graduates to evaluate the procedures within their central stations to determine what changes need to be made to their current in-house training programs.”

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.”

More information on, as well as registration forms for SIA’s CST course can be found at their website, while info and registration forms for CSAA’s Fall Operations Management Seminar can be found at