Monthly Archives: May 2015

A National Service Provider Is Only As Good As Their Emergency Monitoring Service

Saving The Life Of A Loved One – It’s More Than Sending A Medical Alarm

Simply stated, the level of professionalism of a service provider’s emergency monitory service and its resultant activation response/dispatch protocols are just as important, if not more, than the quality of its system equipment, pricing and other key business metrics and performance.  There are many factors that constitute a highly-professional emergency monitoring and dispatch service that seniors and families must base their trust and confidence. If a prospective provider doesn’t talk about this…find another provider immediately.  By the way, at First Response, this is our passion.

An Emergency Response Scenario That Should Never Happen to A Provider Client….But Can!

Here’s the scenario.  You have just set-up and activated your new emergency medical alarm system for a loved one through a nationally advertised provider.  You have now achieved the desired “peace-of-mind” feeling knowing that your loved one is now protected 24/7 with medical alarm monitoring.  Particularly when you can’t be there by their side day or night.  Life is good for “both” sides of the family (the user and the family member caregiver)…..back to a normal life!

Then you get the frantic phone call from said loved one.  ” I fell, pressed my panic help button and the operator came over the 2-way speaker console FIFTEEN minutes afterwards and I don’t know what happened after that….”  Then, further confusion ensued with fragmented, delayed response phone calls from the provider’s monitoring call center to members of the “friends and family contact notification list” to communicate that an alarm had been registered, but….and so it goes.

Granted, this is a dramatic scenario, but this unfortunate event does happen with other providers, large and small, national and local. Read on to learn what elements are critical to providing the best emergency medical monitoring protection for you or a loved one.

24/7 Emergency Monitoring Service – 5 Critical Elements

1.  The emergency monitoring center should be located in the United States and provide nationwide coverage and reliable response/dispatch services on a 24-hour, seven-day-per-week basis.

2.  Emergency monitoring center should access an updated in-house computer data storage facility detailing every emergency responder agency (i.e. medical; police and fire) with jurisdiction throughout the United States.

3.  Emergency center responders should only be live operators, not voice mail or via phone line response and are industry certified in emergency medical services (EMS) response and dispatch.  Spanish-speaking operators should also be provided to users, if needed.

4.  Optional and customized response and dispatch protocols should be enacted with approval from user/client.  This includes, but is not limited to, response protocols when user does not respond to the live operator’s alarm call response over 2-way medical device and personal phones and more.

5.  Account profile information on record including personal medical data form for EMS/EMT on-site treatment, lock box and key/security alarm data, customized alarm response protocols and more.

Customer Service and Support

The provider company should offer responsive customer service and support to users and their family member caregivers on a 24 hour, seven-day-a-week basis.  Contact with customer service should be easily accessible through a toll-free number, e-mail and a web site link. In the event call volume prohibits a live response over the phone, leave a message and that non-emergency call should be returned by provider customer service within 1 to 2 hours.

For more detailed information or if you would like to discuss a customized emergency monitoring and dispatch protocol plan for you or a loved one, please contact First Response Client Services & Support at (866) 686-9344.  This is our passion!

Home or Mobile Medical Alarm Devices – Which System Is Better For A Senior

Better Medical Alarm Technology Means More Consumer Choices

With recent advancements in medical alarm technologies, seniors and their family member caregivers have never been in a better position to select a personal emergency response system that best suits a specific senior’s needs or requirements.  As consumers are now being offered a broader selection of systems, price plan options and service providers to choose from, the research and selection process to secure the right system has never been more challenging or confusing.

The Four Pillars – Cutting Through The Clutter of System Technology and Information

As a national service provider, First Response understands the challenges consumers are now facing when navigating the product selection process in order to find the system that best suits their needs.  Therefore, First Response has created a forthright and easy-to-understand user checklist that helps consumers streamline the research process by using the “Four Pillars” (lifestyle; medical; financial; and proficiency) to create an ideal match between user and system.

User Checklist – Match User Needs to A Specific System Solution

Lifestyle/Home: If the senior or individual user is homebound and/or spends the majority of their daily living in the home and around the property, then a traditional land line system (phone connection needed) or cell dialer system (no phone connection needed; cellular service) is appropriate.  The land line system consists of an emergency help button (worn as a bracelet or necklace) and a monitoring base console that can transmit the alarm signal through a phone line or nearby cell phone tower.

Lifestyle/Mobile:  In the event the user is more independent and is inclined toward engaging in activities outside the home (i.e. grocery, errands, medical, social) and/or drives an automobile, then a more portable system such as our GPS Mobile Care device would be an ideal solution. Device is a necklace that serves as a combination emergency help button and 2-way voice activated speaker. Features include wireless 2-way communication, GPS location tracking, fall detection and auto alarm applications.

Medical Need:  Falling or recurring falls may require a device that features fall detection and auto alarm capabilities.  The auto alarm application will transmit a wireless alarm signal to our First Response National Emergency monitoring Center without the user needing to press the panic alarm button.  The First Response GPS Mobile Care system integrates these features and more into the all-in-one device.

Financial Budget:  The traditional land line systems (phone or cell dialer) are considerably more affordable (as much as fifty-percent) as compared to their mobile and portable counterparts. All systems and their respective price plans combine the equipment rental and 24/7 emergency monitoring service into a one rate.  Rental and/or purchase plans are available in monthly, quarterly and annual installments.  Purchase plans (equipment only) are only recommended for long-term users (i.e. younger individuals with disabilities or early seniors age 55+).

Technical Proficiency:  Traditional land line systems (phone or cell dialer) require minimal or no daily user maintenance.  These systems are ideal for seniors with limited technical ability who generally do not access cell phones and computer and other related modern devices.  GPS Mobile Care and other portable medical alarm devices do require daily charging maintenance and basic monitoring of unit light indicators (i.e. cell signal strength and battery level) by the user.  These portable devices require a user to follow a basic daily regimen of maintenance and awareness.

Discuss Our Four Pillar User Checklist With A National Service Provider

Now that you’ve done your homework on the internet, contact the national providers you have researched online ( as well as any friends and family provider referrals) and review your Checklist pillar by pillar against the systems and products they offer. Finally, also take into consideration the emergency monitoring service and after-sales customer service the provider extends to a client. More on this critical subject in a later blog. Meanwhile, please feel free to contact us at our First Response Client Services Center at (866) 930-1130 should you require more detailed information or to discuss your specific needs.








Four Critical Elements To Consider When Selecting Your Medical Alarm Device

First Response Offers Consumers A Vital Checklist To Select The Right Medical Alert System For A Loved One

It would not be a bold statement to say that choosing the right type of personal emergency response system (PERS) today for a senior adult or individual with a chronic disability, has never been more challenging, confusing or daunting!  On the positive side, with the recent advancements in communications and software/hardware technologies, consumers are now faced with a wider and better selection of medical alarm devices than ever before- and this is only getting better!

Some quick history.  The medical alarm industry has been known to lag other related industries in adapting to new and emerging technologies that propel their products into the present day (future) to the benefit of their target customers. Now that our industry has wholeheartedly embraced new, proven technologies such as GPS (global positioning system) tracking, high-definition voice, cellular mobile application software, independent seniors are being presented with a customized selection of more reliable, high-performance products and monitoring services.

First Evaluate The User- Not The System and It’s Technology Features

To initiate the system selection “shopping” process, consumers must address the following four areas of concern, equally, as part of their user evaluation check list: Personal Lifestyle; Medical Need; Financial Budget; Technical Proficiency.

Personal Lifestyle

Define the user’s lifestyle.  For example, does the user spend the majority of their living at home. Or, do they need to travel locally for groceries; medical appointments and other related activities on a regular basis.  Also, does the user operate a motor vehicle.

Medical Need

Take into account whether the user has a chronic medical or physical disability such as falling.  Recent advancements in application device technology now offer seniors with fall detection and auto alarm in select devices to provide enhanced, maximum emergency monitoring and alarm protection.

Financial Budget

Identify the user’s financial budget.  Seniors are usually on fixed incomes.  In many cases, a concerned family member caregiver is subsidizing the cost of the system equipment and emergency monitoring service.  Most provider price plans are rental-based or offer an alternative option to purchase (equipment only). Note: we only recommend the purchase option if the user is of a younger age and plans to use the system for at least five to seven years or more.

Technical Proficiency of User

Evaluate the technical proficiency of the specific user.  For example, do they regularly use a cell phone or a computer.  Do they take on the daily task of re-charging these devices.

Match Our Evaluation Checklist To The Right Medical Alert System

Our next blog entry will delve in more detail to matching the appropriate medical alarm system to the criteria detailed above.  Suffice to say, if the user is more home bound in lifestyle, a traditional land line system would be proper and most affordable.  In the event a user is more independent and therefore inclined to be more mobile (outside the home and property), our GPS Mobile Care portable device would be most beneficial.  If the user is a recurring faller, new fall detection and auto alarm applications integrated into our First Response GPS device will serve to provide added and maximum monitoring and alarm protection.

If you would like more information on this subject, please visit our First Response web site at or call toll-free our Customer Service & Support Center at (866) 930-1130.