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