April 26th, 2017

The team at ECT Services continues to stay in growth mode. We are currently on the hunt for several positions including Field Service Technician, Programmers and Electricians. 

If you fit the bill and are looking for a competitive job with a great team atmosphere, please reach out via (502) 632-4322. We look forward to hearing from you!

April 24th, 2017

A school custodian is emerging as one of the heroes of the latest headline-grabbing school shooting.


On April 10, Edna Gamarro was outside the library at North Park Elementary School in San Bernardino, Calif. when she heard the distinctive sound of gunshots.
At that moment, a little boy was exiting the library. Gamarro quickly redirected the child back into the library and to safety.
“I was just telling him to go inside and he was like ‘why why’ and I was like don’t ask anything and I just pushed him in and went inside and told the librarian just keep him inside, just go to the back door,” Edna Gamarro said in an interview with CBSNews.com.
The boy’s mother credited Gamarro with saving his life.
Gamarro’s sharp ears and quick thinking made a difference in the San Bernardino school shooting.
Guardian, a gunshot detection system developed by Shooter Detection Systems, puts the same sharp ears and quick thinking throughout a facility. Guardian works by using acoustic and infrared sensors to instantly identify gunshots. The precise location of the gunshots is noted, and authorities are alerted immediately.
The Guardian system has the ability to dramatically reduce response times in active shooter situations. A recent independent live-fire study in a two million square foot facility reduced reporting and first-responder dispatch time from as much as 18 minutes to just five seconds. Warnings can also be instantly sent out to people in the facility and vicinity advising them to evacuate or take cover. This video demonstrates the basics of the system.
Interested in learning more? Register for our Live Fire event.
ECT Services will also be participating in the Kentucky School Plant Management Association conference and workshops this year, which will take place Oct. 18-19 at the Embassy Suites Hotel at 1801 Newtown Pike in Lexington.

April 12th, 2017

Spring is here, and several ECT Services partners have announced the launch of new products. Here’s a rundown of the latest:


HID Global announced the launch of HID Location Services. The new offering allows organizations to track its workforce in a facility. The real-time proximity-based services verify employee locations for use cases such as monitoring employee check in and check out, monitoring room occupancy, facility management, workforce optimization and more.
“HID Location Services extends HID’s leadership in physical access control with a cutting-edge Internet of Things offering for workforce optimization solutions that can be easily integrated into existing systems,” said Harm Radstaak, Vice President and Managing Director of Physical Access Control Solutions with HID Global in a company press release. “These new capabilities leverage the power of trusted identities to provide a new level of visibility for customers to better understand how buildings are used, help quickly find people in emergency situations, and deliver an extraordinary user experience.”
HID Location Services is off to a strong start, snagging the Most Valuable Product (MVP) award from Security Sales & Integration (SSI) magazine. HID Location Services also took top honors in the Security Industry Association (SIA) New Product Showcase competition in the category of Access Control Devices & Peripherals Wireless.
Bosch Security Systems also introduced a new line of intelligent IP cameras, all of which feature video analytics. The new MIC IP fusion 9000i camera also offers metadata fusion, which fuses the metadata of the camera’s built-in optical and thermal imager.
Bosch also introduced In-Store Analytics, a Cloud-based solution that uses intelligent Bosch IP panoramic cameras to give retailers insights on store traffic, according to a release from the company.
Axis Communications also recently announced new and updated product lines. The FA series of discreet indoor surveillance cameras includes the AXIS FA54 Main Unit, AXIS FA1105 Sensor Unit with a standard lens, AXIS FA1125 Sensor Unit with a pinhole lens and AXIS FA4115 Dome Sensor Unit with a varifocal lens. The series enables indoor surveillance of four closely situated areas using a single system system.
“By separating the sensor unit from the camera body, the sensor units can fit into tight spaces and blend in with the environment for unobtrusive surveillance. The pinhole sensor unit is especially useful at entrances for capturing people’s faces at eye level,” said Erik Mårtensson, Global Product Manager for Modular cameras at Axis Communications, in a company press release. “AXIS FA Series is really cost-efficient since it offers customers the possibility to cover multiple areas of a location with one high-performance camera system.”
Axis also added the indoor AXIS P1367 and outdoor AXIS P1367-E and AXIS P1368-E network cameras to its AXIS P13 fixed-box series.
Belimo also launched a new line of HVAC sensors, developed to seamlessly integrate into building automation systems. The sensors feature universal compact enclosure design, screwless snap covers and a detachable mounting plate.

April 3rd, 2017

Another school shooting tragedy was avoided this week, thanks to alert parents.

The father of Nichole Cevario, 18, alerted officials at Catoctic High School in Thurmont, Maryland that he suspected his daughter was plotting violence towards the school. She was immediately removed from class, and a search of the Cevario’s home yielded a shotgun and bomb-making materials. Investigators also turned up a journal featuring detailed plans for a plot to carry out a mass shooting.
It’s not the first time in recent memory that parents have foiled a school shooting attempt.
In December, parents in Utah noticed their 15-year-old’s behavior was off. After noting that guns were missing from their home, they raced to his school and disarmed him just moments after he fired the first shot in his classroom.
How can parents know when a child’s behavior is truly threatening? Sandy Hook Promise, a group founded and led by families of those killed in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, have launched a campaign aimed at increasing awareness of the signs that someone may be at risk of committing an act of gun violence.
According to the group’s Know the Signs guide, signals that someone is at risk of hurting themselves or others may include:
1. A strong fascination with firearms or acts of mass violence.
2. Aggressive behavior triggered for seemingly minor reasons.
3. A sudden change in academic performance or aspirations for the future.
4. Real or perceived feelings that they are picked on or persecuted by others, and isolation from others.
5. Unsupervised or illegal access to firearms.
6. Overt threats of violence, which may be verbal, written, pictures or videos. Eighty percent of school shooters told someone of their plans ahead of time.
Parents, other family members, friends or teachers should share their concerns with school officials and police immediately, as did the parents of the teens in the Utah and Maryland incidents. At the very least, reporting concerns could lead to help for the teen, and at best, could avert a horrible tragedy.

March 30th, 2017

Maintaining school facilities is a challenge in nearly every school district. Most districts don’t have the funds to adequately resource regular capital improvements, and maintenance is sometimes deferred and systems and equipment are repaired long after they should have been replaced.


It’s no different for Jefferson County Public Schools, which has 155 school buildings, shifting population and a $1.3 billion list of maintenance and new construction projects.
Addressing the maintenance and construction issues is a complex challenge, but the payoffs are considerable, including improved energy efficiency and better utilization of resources, among other things.
But the most important payback of all might be improved student performance. How?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, schools without a major maintenance backlog have a higher average daily attendance of 4 to 5 students per 1,000 and a lower annual dropout rate by 10 to 13 students per 1,000 compared to schools with backlogs.
Check out these other benefits and impacts the EPA cites:

  • Studies that measure school conditions consistently show improved scores on standardized tests as school conditions improve.
  • Controlled studies show that children perform school work with greater speed as air ventilation rates increase, and performance of teachers and staff also improves.
  • Higher ventilation rates have been shown to reduce the transmission of infectious agents in the building, which leads to a drop in sickness and absenteeism.
  • Moderate changes in room temperature affect children’s abilities to perform mental tasks requiring concentration, such as addition, multiplication and sentence comprehension. Poor temperature and humidity regulation can lead to problems with focus.

Well-maintained systems are key to building maintenance, and important for the development, health and safety of students and staff.
We’re always happy to discuss how our solutions can help. Connect with us at the Kentucky School Plant Management Association conference and workshops Oct. 18-19 at the Embassy Suites Hotel at 1801 Newtown Pike in Lexington or call us at (502) 632-4322 to discuss your needs.

March 21st, 2017

Two seemingly unrelated healthcare stories out this week suggest a common theme: integration.
In a story released during the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Annual Conference & Exhibition 2017 earlier this week, ECT Services partner HID Global highlighted several key technology trends in the healthcare sector.


Among the trends were integrated systems that allow for secure, compliant dispensing of controlled substances; integrated systems that allow for trustworthy, secure, accurate tracking of people and resources; and integration of biometrics to verify patient and provider identity.
“Healthcare organizations are increasingly seeking to improve the physician, staff and patient experience by employing a combination of strong authentication and new IoT applications to address their challenges,” said Sheila Loy, Director, Healthcare Industry with HID Global in the release. “Trusted identities will simplify and connect all aspects of healthcare operations, from opening hospital doors, accessing healthcare records and e-prescribing of controlled substances, to how healthcare professionals interact with patients and log their activities.”
Did you catch that? Simplify and connect. Value and results for healthcare providers will by the ability of systems to communicate in a way that delivers a streamlined, secure experience for the patient and the provider.
Here’s the other story out this week that suggests integration is a key theme in healthcare: the latest edition of the Grumman/Butkus Hospital Energy and Water Benchmarking Survey reveals that overall fossil fuel usage in healthcare facilities continues to trend downward. Electricity usage and carbon footprint remain steady, however.
How can healthcare facilities make headway in driving down electricity usage and reduce their carbon footprint? The key might be stronger system integration.
According to this report from the Alliance to Save Energy, “systems-integrated intelligence can drive enhanced efficiencies, and thus energy savings – as well as lower carbon footprint in buildings” through analysis of consumption patterns and adjustments to the algorithms which control systems.
Want to learn more about systems integration and the possibilities for healthcare? Call us today at (502) 632-4322 or connect with us at the upcoming Healthcare Coalition Conference on September 26-28 at the Hyatt Regency Lexington Center in Lexington, Ky.

March 14th, 2017

Louisville’s Jewish Community Center was the target of a bomb threat and had to be evacuated recently.


The threat appears to be part of a recent wave of threats and vandalism aimed at Jewish organizations. Since the first of the year, at least 134 bomb threats have been made against 100 locations across the country. Targets include Jewish Community Centers, schools and offices of the Anti-Defamation League.
The Jewish Community Center of Louisville is a vital part of the community, hosting an array of recreational opportunities ranging from swimming classes to art classes to theatre productions. The activities are open to all.
Why would anyone target such an institution?
It’s actually not unusual for religiously-affiliated institutions to be targets of violence and threats. Some are targeted for their beliefs, ethnic or religious makeup. Some are targeted because they are open and accessible by design, so it’s easy for those who wish to do harm to gain entry. Some are simply caught up as collateral damage in situations of domestic violence.
What can religiously-affiliated organizations do to protect themselves and the communities they serve? Here are a few ideas:
Gather stakeholders. Bring together organizational leaders, key staff, community members, legal counsel, insurance representatives and law enforcement. It is important to have a variety of perspectives represented; the different points of view will help you balance addressing risks with the purpose of your organization.
Assess potential threats. Think as comprehensively as possible about risks, which may include bomb threats, active shooters, vandalism, arson or more.
Develop response plans. Local law enforcement and insurance companies may be a good resource here, as well as your facilities maintenance team. Once you’ve developed response plans, communicate them appropriately. Hold regular emergency response training and drills, and distribute plans among key staff members in several locations.
Evaluate monitoring and response systems. Is your security system adequate and up to date? Are cameras, alarms and other elements fully integrated and securely accessible from remote locations? Should your facility consider a shot detection system that automatically detects gun shots and alerts first responders?
ECT Services can help you evaluate your security monitoring and response systems. Call us at (502) 632-4322 for details.

March 8th, 2017

Has your organization staged an active shooter preparedness drill? If the answer is no, you are not alone.


According to a recent story in HR Daily Advisor, most companies have not. Despite strong perceptions that an active shooter incident is a top threat, 79 percent of those surveyed don’t fee adequately prepared for such a scenario, and 61 percent have never conducted an active shooter preparedness drill.
In additional, 44 percent don’t have a plan to communicate and escalate alerts.
Need to get your active shooter preparedness efforts off the ground? Take these steps:
Bring stakeholders to the table
Stakeholders will vary based on context, but consider including facility managers, security personnel, local law enforcement and other first responders, employees with significant contact with the public. Each will bring a different, valuable perspective.
Research resources
The Department of Homeland Security has developed education materials including a video, pamphlets and posters aimed at educating the public about what to do in an active shooter situation. Click here for details.
Assessment and education is also available from ECT Services. Contact James Burton at 502.632.4322 or email sales@ectservices.com.
Enhance systems
Consider adding an active shooter detection system to your facility. The award-winning Guardian Shooter Detection System significantly reduces response time by automatically detecting when shots are fired, then instantly reporting the activity to authorities and alerting people in the area.
Interested in learning more? Register for a Live Fire Event to see the system in action.
Get it in writing
Just as will all other emergency policies and procedures, your plan should be written, distributed to all appropriate personnel, and reviewed and updated regularly.
Practice makes perfect
Coordinate with local law enforcement and first responders to conduct an active shooter drill. Communicate to participants and the public when and where the drill will take place, and what they can expect. Surprises drills can set off panic and lead to public safety issues.

February 24th, 2017

School plant operators already have a tall order. They must keep school buildings clean and in good working order, often with limited resources in aging facilities, all while surrounded by hundreds of busy little mess-makers.

Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 9.29.25 PM
But the job doesn’t stop there for many plant operators. They take their role a step further, supporting students and teachers with joy and enthusiasm that brings a warmth and light to a school that the systems they monitor can’t even begin to generate.
Jefferson County Public Schools highlighted one such plant operator recently in a video on their Facebook page. Mickey Bridwell, plant operator at Blue Lick Elementary School in Louisville, Ky., greets children in the car rider line each day and leads them in a special chant. He sits with students at lunch, ties shoes, cheers up children who are having a tough day, and does whatever he can to help “make teachers’ jobs easier.” Best of all, he does it all with a warm, grandfatherly smile on his face.
Bridwell recognizes that he is a role model for students, and embraces that role with enthusiasm.
What can administrators and communities do to appreciate and encourage plant operators, custodians and other school support staff personnel? Here are a few ideas:
Include them in decision-making. Plant operators and custodians should have a place at the table when key decisions are being made, from supply changes to process changes to system changes. Their front-line experiences yield valuable insights, especially in the highly variable context of school buildings. Including plant operators and custodians in decisions will ensure successful implementation later.
Honor their contributions. Set aside time on the school calendar to honor plant operators and custodians. October 2 is National Custodial Worker’s Recognition Day, so that might be a good start. Appreciation also might take the form of features on excellent plant operators or custodial staff in school or district-wide newsletters, or even video profiles like the one produced by JCPS. Don’t underestimate the power of “surprise and delight” opportunities, too, such as bringing in a hot breakfast for plant operators and custodians who must show up early to de-ice sidewalks on cold days.
Support networking and learning opportunities. Connect plant operators and custodians to organizations and opportunities that help them grow, such as the Kentucky School Plant Management Association. The KPSMA offers a conference and workshops every year. ECT Services will be participating in the KPSMA conference this year, which will take place Oct. 18-19 at the Embassy Suites Hotel at 1801 Newtown Pike in Lexington.

February 15th, 2017

39478543_l

Day to day operations are demanding. Resources are stretched thin. Budgets are shrinking. Lots of news and learning resources—blogs, podcasts, communities — are available for free online.
Why attend a professional conference? Three reasons:
Focus. Stepping out of your day to day job offers you a physical and mental break from your routine. It affords you the opportunity to take a step back and consider your work at a higher level. Use this new perspective to consider long term goals, evaluate the current state, and plan next steps.
Network. Good conferences attract a variety of professionals from across your industry. You’ll meet others in similar and complementary roles, as well as consultants and vendors. All offer different perspectives and experiences that might help you solve a problem that’s been dogging you for months.
Discover. You don’t know what you don’t know, and you can’t necessarily Google what you don’t know, either. Conferences give you the opportunity to encounter new approaches, products, services and ideas that can spark your imagination and help you take your organization to a new level.
ECT Services is planning to attend four upcoming conferences. We’d love to connect with you!

NAFSA Annual Conference and Expo, May 28 – June 2 in Los Angeles. NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the world’s largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education and exchange. NAFSA’s 10,000 members represent 3,500 institutions from more than 150 countries.

2017 Healthcare Coalition Conference, September 26 – 28, Hyatt Regency/Lexington Center in Lexington, Ky. The event is planned by the Kentucky Society of Healthcare Engineers, the state chapter representing the American Society of Healthcare Engineering and Association for the Healthcare Environment.

Kentucky Association of Housing Officers Annual Conference. Dates and details have not yet been announced, but the event is usually held in early October and will be hosted this year at Berea College in Berea, Ky. KAHO provides personal and professional growth opportunities for college and university housing and residence life officers.

Kentucky Plant Management Conference, October 18—19, Embassy Suites Hotel at 1801 Newtown Pike in Lexington, Ky. The event is sponsored by the Kentucky School Plant Management Association, and typically draws more than 300 attendees to breakout sessions, round tables and more.