ECHO service officially launched at CSL Industry Forum in central London

The Electronic Call Handling Operations (ECHO) digital service was launched at the CSL Industry Forum held at the Informa Building in London. Introduced around the campaign ‘Go Digital, Get ECHO’, the ECHO project aims to deliver a centralised, fully automated electronic call handling service in order to reduce the pressure on the Emergency Services and Alarm Receiving Centres (ARCs) by reducing their call handling times and errors that can occur from a manual response handling process.

At the launch, the directors and partners of the ECHO project presented to an audience of representatives from ARCs, the police service, major insurers and security installers. The launch focused on the growing demands placed upon police Control Rooms and the need to ensure the professional security industry keeps pace with change in order to meet the deadline of April 2020, when some police services will prioritise digital alarm signals that meet National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) security systems requirements.

On the day, it was also announced that, following on from a rigorous due diligence exercise involving both technical and operational scrutiny by ECHO directors and fellow industry leaders, the AVR Group will now partner with ECHO to deliver the service.

David Wilkinson, technical director at the British Security Industry Association (BSIA), said: “ECHO is a modern, proven and highly effective technology backed by leading industry bodies. Currently, the speed, quality and volume of alarm calls varies significantly, and delays to calls being answered can have serious consequences. History shows that mistakes can be made by both parties, with telephone alarm messages being misheard or misunderstood. Adopting ECHO will go a long way towards streamlining and evolving the process.”

Over the next few months the ECHO team will be promoting the service as a series of events across the UK as well as concentrating on completing the connectivity of ECHO to both the police service and ARCs.

ECHO is an industry initiative led by the BSIA, the Fire and Security Association and the Fire Industry Association, all of whom are directors of the business. ECHO is also supported by the National Security Inspectorate, the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board, the Joint Security and Resilience Centre (JSaRC), BAFE, British APCO, the National Fire Chiefs’ Council and the aforementioned NPCC.

*For more information on the ECHO project visit www.echo.uk.net

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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