TMA to support alarm companies participation in FirstNet

Qualified alarm companies to support the public safety mission through FirstNet
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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

VIENNA, Va.—The Monitoring Association (TMA) and AT&T have agreed to collaborate on the verification of eligibility process that will facilitate qualified alarm companies to use FirstNet services to provide an enhanced communications experience, all in the support of the public safety mission.

“I am very pleased to announce that TMA will be assisting in the approval process for security alarm companies to transmit signals over FirstNet,” said TMA President Ivan Spector. “This is a great step in helping critical monitored conditions be securely sent to first responders on a segregated network platform that is dedicated for the purpose of public safety when they need it.”

FirstNet is the dedicated public safety nationwide wireless broadband network, built and deployed through a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership between the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) and AT&T.

Since the inception of FirstNet, TMA, through the Alarm Industry Communications Committee (AICC), has been working to support the public safety mission through standards based access to this nationwide public safety broadband cellular network.
“It has been my sincere pleasure to work since the inception of FirstNet with the public safety community,” said Lou Fiore, chairman of AICC and past president of TMA. “We see this as an important step in support of our public safety partners – one that we have been working toward for many years to ensure more secure communication of alarms from our customers through our central stations to the responding authorities.”

In order to uphold the FirstNet public safety mission, FirstNet eligibility will be limited to those alarm companies who meet accepted industry standards for transmitting public-safety related alarms (e.g., robbery, burglary, unlawful intrusion, fire, emergency medical) to an alarm monitoring facility that confirms and verifies the authenticity of the alarm and notifies a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) for relay to a public safety agency for the purpose of initiating an emergency response.

The transmission of verified public safety related alarms using FirstNet services helps first responders to quickly be aware of an event requiring their response to prevent the loss of life and property.

Companies interested in using the FirstNet communications platform for alarm transport will apply to TMA for a Certificate of Verification indicating that they follow recognized industry standards including the ANSI/CSAA CS-V-01 Standard (Alarm Confirmation, Verification and Notification Procedures) which is designed to minimize false alarms. The alarm company would then present the TMA Certificate of Verification to AT&T as part of the process to assess eligibility to operate on the FirstNet communications platform as an extended primary user in support of public safety.

“Adding emergency alarm alerts to the FirstNet ecosystem brings an extra layer of support to public safety. This helps first responders get the critical information they need to quickly respond to an alarm-initiated incident. But as public safety’s network, it’s vital that any communication allowed to transmit across the FirstNet communications ecosystem is in fact integral to the public safety response,” said Chris Sambar, senior vice president of FirstNet, AT&T. “By working with TMA as part of the rigorous eligibility process, we can make sure that the alarm communications brought to FirstNet are relevant to and align with the public safety mission and truly serve on the frontlines of notification should a public safety incident occur.”

For more information, please contact TMA Executive Director Celia Besore at 703-242-4913 or at cbesore@tma.us.

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