Linking Duress Alarms with CCTV Systems Through Video Paging

The first few minutes of an emergency are critical in determining outcomes, so the ability to see what’s happening greatly enhances situational awareness and better informs the appropriate response. This capability – what we call video paging – links a triggering event with surveillance cameras to deliver live video to workstations and mobile devices. 

As a provider of situational awareness and response systems that unify alarm and communication systems, this is a natural evolution of our technology roadmap, and now it’s part of our solution suite. Read, hear, see, do and then analyze. That’s our formula for situational awareness and therefore better risk management.  

Perhaps one of the best applications for video paging would be in airports. In fact, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently issued an airport security report that mentions tying duress alarms to airport CCTV systems “for better situational awareness in the event of dangerous events.” This and other recommendations outlined in the report were prompted by a shooting incident last November at Los Angeles International Airport that left an airport security officer dead. 

How would video paging work in an airport – or any other environment where emergency alerting and response could be significantly improved with “eyes” on the situation?

If a fixed duress button or mobile duress pendant were activated by security or other personnel, our SARA software would process that alarm and automatically pull video footage from the nearest cameras, as determined with SARA’s Positioning System. Alerts with this video footage then would be delivered to the appropriate on- and off-site responders, as preconfigured in SARA’s modes and actions. Airport police, airport management, TSA, etc., all would receive simultaneous notifications via their desktops and smartphones. Depending on the nature of the alarm, notifications also can be preprogrammed to go to other communication end points, including public address systems – in the event of a lockdown or evacuation, for example.  

Even if all of these systems operate separately today, they can be integrated without having to rip them out and replace them. Computer-telephony integration makes it possible for us to deliver a customized SARA system with video paging, in addition to unifying communication between personnel, departments, agencies, etc.  

Officials say that “creating these linkages will greatly enhance the ability of the airport operator to have a ‘real-time’ visual of the area where a duress alarm is activated.”

We couldn’t agree more.

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