EMERgency24 looking to PERS, redundancy for the future

Thursday, August 11, 2011

DES PLAINES, Ill.—Third-party monitoring center EMERgency24 is remaining true to its roots as well as getting ready for something new, according to PR manager Kevin Lehan and national sales manager Kevin McCarthy. The central station recently opened a new hot redundant monitoring center and is expanding its dealer offerings.

"EMERgency24 was a leader in the redundancy trend. We were probably the first to open a redundant center," Lehan told Security Systems News. "We opened our Washington, D.C. center in the early '90s and it's been working for us ever since."

McCarthy agreed.

"The advantage of having branches scattered throughout the United States is that aside from them all being on different electrical grids, they cover each other's weather-related needs," McCarthy said. "If there's a blizzard in Chicago, we can ramp up the traffic in L.A. or D.C. and not miss a beat, keep staffing at the levels we need it."

EM24 purchased an old restaurant and revamped the interior, bringing it up to UL regulation for access, safety and security. After redoing all the electrical and HVAC earlier in the year, they began staffing.

"We opened up our UL-listed redundant, back up branch in Waukesha and began hiring in March and we've got about 15 people up there monitoring now. And we've got a long-time industry veteran as the branch manager there, Denis Muise," Lehan said. "It's hot redundant with our other central stations. We have five total throughout the United States. We have our home office in Des Plaines, Ill., and we have branches in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Detroit, and now Waukesha."

McCarthy said spreading out redundant centers around the country made sense from a disaster recovery perspective.

"This had a lot to do with the proximity to the Chicago area," he said. "For disaster recovery, if anything ever happened here in Chicago we could get our people up to the Waukesha branch in less than an hour and a half."

Lehan also said the company is getting ready to expand its PERS offerings to increase value to dealers.

"We're looking to expand our PERS product offerings," Lehan said. "We currently work with a couple different manufacturers and we're looking to expand that in the coming months … We see PERS as a huge market going forward and an additional revenue source for our dealers."

So with five 24/7/365 hot redundant centers already monitoring around 180,000 accounts, are there plans for more in the offing?

"I'd say we feel pretty comfortable with where we're located geographically throughout the U.S.," McCarthy said. "But I wouldn't rule it out."