ASD’s Suicide Telephone Operator Patch (S.T.O.P) System Recognized With 2017 NFDA Innovation Award
Boston, MA—On Monday, October 29, ASD – Answering Service for Directors was named the winner of the National Funeral Directors Association’s 2017 Innovation Award. The company was recognized for its Suicide Telephone Operator Patch (S.T.O.P) System, a feature that was created by ASD solely to help those in crisis.
When someone is feeling hopeless or alone, there is no telling who they might reach out to and, in some cases, they contact a funeral home. ASD created the STOP System to give our staff a way to seamlessly connect a caller with a suicide prevention hotline, ensuring these individuals receive the immediate counseling and guidance they need. In the past 11 months, this solution has helped to save six lives.
According to funeral director, James Delaney of Delaney Funeral Home in Walpole, MA: “ASD handled a call for our funeral home from a gentleman who would have potentially taken his own life. They re-routed him over to the Suicide hotline and I couldn’t have been happier with the way the call was handled. It was absolutely spot-on perfect. The gentleman got the help he needed and he got to talk to someone who was a knowledgeable resource that helped him through the crisis.”
The S.T.O.P System was designed by ASD’s technical team to ensure callers never have to wait to receive support. Call Specialists can press an emergency button on their keyboard to immediately alert a Suicide Hotline when they are speaking to someone in crisis. The call can be made without the ASD Call Specialist interrupting the caller or placing them on hold. The hotline operator will hear a recording alerting them that a distressed and possibly suicidal person is on the line speaking to ASD. This alert will instruct the hotline operator to press any key to be 3-way connected into the call.
While ASD Call Specialists are trained extensively on how to handle difficult calls, in the past operators have been deeply affected and troubled by conversations they have had with those who stated they were contemplating suicide. This led ASD’s Tech Team to invent a telecommunication tool that would support its staff, give directors added peace of mind and, most importantly, help those in distress receive the help they need.
ASD is pleased the funeral service community recognizes the S.T.O.P System as a life-saving solution that can help them to better support their communities. The company was honored to receive their third Innovation Award during this year’s convention. Established in 2009, the NFDA Innovation Award is given annually to a funeral service vendor whose product or service was introduced during the previous year and exemplifies creativity, innovation and excellence. The award represents the pinnacle of achievement for a funeral service vendor.
While no other company has received the NFDA Innovation award more than once, ASD has now won three out of the past six years. In 2012, ASD received the award after introducing the powerful ASD Mobile app, which has revolutionized how funeral directors handle their on-call communications. ASD was recognized again in 2015 for it’s MobileFH™ feature, a patented feature that allows directors to call any number from their cell phone and display their funeral home’s number as the outgoing Caller ID.
ASD Family-Member Owner, Kevin Czachor, was on stage to accept the prestigious award from NFDA Past President, Ashley Cozine, at the Opening General Session of the NFDA’s International Convention & Expo.
“We are humbled to be recognized by the NFDA with our third Innovation Award and for an opportunity to raise awareness about suicide prevention,” Czachor said. “The STOP System was created by ASD with a specific purpose of helping those who are at risk of taking their own life. By linking ASD staff to qualified, suicide prevention operators, we can help ensure that those who are suffering receive immediate support.”
ASD – Answering Service for Directors has created a new class of answering service for the funeral profession. Family owned and operated since 1972, ASD blends state-of-the-art technology with an extensive, 6-month training program focusing on compassionate care. The company’s custom-built communication systems and sophisticated mobile tools were designed solely to meet the needs of funeral professionals. By offering funeral directors unmatched protection for their calls, ASD has redefined the role of an answering service for funeral homes. For more information, visit www.myASD.com or call 1-800-868-9950.
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