The Power Behind your Central Station Partner

Oct. 14, 2015
Key factors that serve as a the foundation for good third-party providers

A central station’s mission is to protect life and property, and everything must revolve around that core purpose. In my years of experience in the industry, I have found that there are key areas that a central station must focus on to stand out. When selecting a third-party central station partner, it is important to understand the three critical factors that central stations must address to accomplish their core purpose — people, training and technology.

It Starts with People

Central stations have to hire the best, and pay them fairly. They need to be successful in life and be able to demonstrate it with things such as a college degree, an honorable discharge and steady professional growth in a customer service-oriented industry.

It must be a requirement that new employees fit the central station’s culture and position. This includes testing and evaluating their intelligence, personality and critical skill sets needed to work in a fast-paced, high-stress environment.

It is also very important that employees can be understood quickly and clearly by customers and dispatchers. Further, they should undergo thorough background checks and rigorous interviewing.


A formalized training program is required, and it must be led and managed by experts. It is not enough to have a lead operator train a new person or to rely on a computer software tutorial. You are protecting life and property, and there are rarely second chances to get it right.

A Quality Assurance program is another necessity. What is not measured cannot be managed, and without a good QA team in place, a central station will be a ship without a rudder.

The training and testing is both realistic and challenging. If some new hires are not “washing out” in the training class, then the program is not difficult enough. Being realistic in the training class is a key to making sure the staff is adequately prepared to save lives.

Technology Makes it all Work

Technology is moving at the speed of light. Every day, something in the central station business changes or evolves; thus, a central station must be totally committed to having the expertise on staff and available to stay in front of these changes — not just now but in the future.

Network and data security is quickly becoming a universal problem for everyone. Central stations must invest not only in network security hardware and software, but also in competent network engineers to keep up with the growing amount of sophisticated criminals.

As technology evolves, the coming generations will be focused on mobile applications, SMS messages, IVR platforms and self-service web portals. Central stations must adapt to that mindset and re-think how to protect life and property utilizing these new tools. Functions that were once manual now must be automated with platforms that are accepted by the newer generations. This is a challenge but one that must be overcome.

Central stations must continuously reinvest in technologic infrastructure — which means always staying informed on the latest releases, while having adequate capital and the means to implement the newest offerings right away. Failure to do so will result in offerings becoming stale, which negatively impacts dealer RMR.

Morgan Hertel is VP of Operations for Rapid Response Monitoring. To request more info about the company, please visit