EMergency Signalling And Response

If you are interested in EMSAR, or have further questions, don't hesitate to get in contact with us.

  1. Where is EMSAR service available?
    EMSAR service is available everywhere in Nova Scotia.

  2. What happens when I push my button?
    We have varying levels of response depending on the client involved so what happens depends on the protocol that was established based on the information collected from you either at the time of installation or when your file was last updated. For the majority of EMSAR clients (those who don’t have medical histories placing them in the “high risk” category), the first thing we do is call them back to verify the alarm. When we install an EMSAR system, we tell the client this will happen and warn them that, if they are injured or otherwise in distress so that getting to the phone is difficult or impossible, they should simply let the phone ring. If we don’t get an answer we will proceed to the emergency response stage and help will be on the way.

    Occasionally, a client feels either too flustered or frightened to use the phone, or fears that they are about to lose consciousness but when the phone rings, they are right next to it, and are able to answer when we call. In such cases, we can obtain more information about the situation that will help us help you more effectively.

  3. In what situations should I push my button?
    The basic rule of EMSAR is this: If you feel you need help and can’t use the phone the normal way, either because you feel you don’t have time or because you are physically unable to reach it, then push your button.

  4. How do people get into my house to help me if the doors are locked?
    This depends on a lot of variables. First of all, EVERYONE on your emergency contact list MUST either have a key or have quick and easy access to one. Under NO circumstances should you consider leaving any doors unlocked to facilitate entry. If we can’t reach someone who has a key, we will fall back to a local emergency response agency that has the authority to force entry. For those who traditionally keep a key hidden somewhere on the property, we will normally expect to have this information on your file so that emergency responders can use that instead of forced entry. Bear in mind that where the key is hidden will be transmitted over an open radio circuit to those who need it so the key will have to be relocated if we have to follow this path.

    Some jurisdictions have a “Keysafe” programme in effect in which a small and very secure armored box is placed on the residence containing the key or keys required to permit entry. The key to this box is in the possession of the fire department having jurisdiction over where your premises are located. We pioneered the Keysafe programme in the area served by the Lunenburg & District Fire Department, and highly endorse it. There is a moderate one time charge for installation of a Keysafe, so call your local fire department to see if it is available in your area.

  5. What are the obligations of people on my emergency contact list?
    Everyone on your list of emergency contacts MUST be aware that they are on the list. After the installation, we will follow up with each of them to confirm that we have all appropriate phone numbers and that they understand what being on your list means. Most importantly, they have no obligation to stay by the phone nor to provide us with an explanation as to why they can’t respond to any given alarm event. This is why we try to obtain as many emergency contacts as possible for any given client, even though it isn’t always possible to do so.
    An emergency contact who is called to assist you and agrees to do so will be asked to call us back on our toll free number to confirm the situation as soon as possible after arriving. If they find you in distress and feel that dialing 911 is the best first step, they should do this FIRST and THEN call us so we can stand down.

  6. What if all of the people on my emergency contact list are out and can't be reached?
    The fallback agency of choice will vary from place to place, but generally an inability to reach any emergency contacts will result in a police response to your residence. Police personnel are usually the best first responders to an unknown situation. Of course, if your file indicates that you are a high risk medical client, a paramedic unit may also be dispatched.

  7. Does EMSAR cover the cost of an ambulance?
    No. Never. Under no circumstances.

  8. Is EMSAR a substitute for calling 911?
    No. Absolutely not. Unequivocally and most emphatically no. Never. No, no, no.

  9. What if I press my button accidentally?
    If you are like most EMSAR users, you can expect a call from us shortly after the alarm goes through. Tell us what happened and we’ll go away happy.

  10. If I decide to test my system, how do I do it?
    At time of installation, you will be provided with a card that has all of our telephone numbers on it. On the back is the direct line for our alarm monitoring centre that is toll free for all areas of the province of Nova Scotia, and a 4 digit account number that is unique to you. To test your system, 24 hours a day, all you need do is call our monitoring center, give them your name and account number, and tell them what you want to do. They will instruct you from there.

    UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you simply press your button without warning just to test it, or us! Medical alarms are one of the highest priority signals we can receive and we prioritize our response accordingly. A frivolous alarm will be acted on as though it was real until we confirm otherwise, and by then, a legitimate alarm of equal importance could have been left waiting.

  11. How much does EMSAR cost?
    EMSAR systems are rented rather than sold so that all maintenance to a system after it is put into service with a client (except for repairs due to willful damage or negligence on the part of the client) is covered at no extra cost. All prices are in CANADIAN dollars.

    The standard package fee consists of two components at installation:

    $280.00 one time connecting fee
    $170.00 annual rent, maintenance and monitoring fee
    $450.00 due at installation

    The annual fee of $170.00 is rebilled annually as long as the client retains service. This is a 12 month obligation for all parties, so there is no refund for mid-term cancellation.

    $280.00 one time connecting fee
    $25.00 monthly rent, maintenance and monitoring fee
    $305.00 due at installation

    The monthly fee of $25.00 is payable every month as long as service is retained by the client. Usually, this is in the form of post dated cheques obtained at time of installation or last annual checkup. In the event of cancellation, the client is only obligated to pay for the last month or part thereof in which EMSAR service was in place. Any post dated cheques on file for this client would be returned either to the client or the client’s estate.

  12. What is included in the price?
    The "one time connecting fee" is truly one time. Once you’ve paid it, you’ve paid it. If you wish to relocate your place of residence after EMSAR has been installed, we will relocate the equipment anywhere in Nova Scotia at no charge. You’ve already paid to be connected and you never need to again.

    EMSAR rent, maintenance, and monitoring fees include all maintenance, battery changes, basic system upgrades if we feel that new technology can provide better or more efficient service to a given client, and routine preventative maintenance inspections at annual intervals.

  13. Will the price go up every year?
    The price for EMSAR service was set in 1985 and remained the same until 2004 when we actually reduced it slightly. EMSAR was designed with the knowledge that its prime users would be people on fixed incomes so, in a world of increasing costs, EMSAR is one of the few constants. With all the areas of the industry we’re involved in, there is no need to consider increasing the price of such a vital service.

  14. Will my system work if the power fails?
    Yes. EMSAR systems contain a rechargeable battery that is automatically kept charged by the system while the power is on and will sustain it for between 18 and 24 hours when the power fails. When the power is restored, the system will automatically recharge its battery.

    The standby battery has a life expectancy of several years, and we replace it routinely at no cost to the client.

  15. What is the range of my button?
    In most cases with the standard package, your button will work reliably everywhere inside of the average house, as well as outside within the boundaries of the average residential property. Keep in mind though that pressing your button will result in a radio signal passing in a straight line between the button itself and the receiver console in your house. Large metal objects in the path of this signal, such as vehicles, large appliances, and large mirrors, can interfere with transmissions passing into the house from outside. This is true of all radio operated systems.

  16. I have a pacemaker. Will EMSAR interfere with it?
    While we consult with the cardiologist in every case, there has never been a case of EMSAR equipment interfering with any pacemaker, nor the other way around for that matter.

  17. Will my garage door opener affect my EMSAR system?
    No. Garage door openers operate in a completely different frequency range, and EMSAR system signals are digitally coded to prevent accidental or intentional jamming by sources of radio frequency interference.

  18. I've gone shopping for the day, and just realized I'm still wearing my button. Does it matter?
    Not at all. Just remember though, that your system will not work when it’s out of range; i. e., off your property.

  19. I'm moving. What now?
    Call us and let us know when you are moving and where to, preferably immediately after you obtain this information yourself. We will lead you through the process so that you have service at your new residence as soon as you need it. There is no charge for this; all we ask is as much notice as you can provide.

  20. I only need EMSAR for a few months while I recover from surgery. How does that work?
    This is not unusual for people who are acting under instructions of their physician, and can sometimes be a condition of release from hospital. If you only need service for a few months, the monthly plan may be more cost effective, and you can transition to the annual plan later if you change you mind or your situation changes.

    If all goes as planned, and you no longer need your EMSAR system after the allotted time runs out, we simply come in and recover the equipment. You will have paid the one time connecting fee, and this will not apply to subsequent reconnections that occur any time within 2 years of the removal date.

  21. I've had my system for 6 months and have never had to use it. How do I know if it's working?
    All EMSAR systems perform automatic self-diagnostic routines that you don’t even know are happening. Each one transmits a daily self-test to our monitoring center during the night time hours to confirm telephone connection. The status of the rechargeable standby battery is continuously monitored. The console reports to us if it loses power, and the battery in the button you carry is automatically tested every few minutes resulting in a signal to us if it starts to weaken. In short; if something bad happens to your equipment, we’ll generally know it long before you do and corrective action will swiftly follow.

    If you simply want to test your system, refer to the instructions for doing this under If I decide to test my system, how do I do it?

  22. When I push my button, will I hear a voice from my console?
    We do offer this type of system. Please contact us for more details.

  23. Is EMSAR covered by my medical insurance?
    This question needs to be answered by your insurer. When EMSAR service is covered, it is usually required that a prescription for service be obtained by your doctor and provided to us with your order for connection. In cases where coverage is available, service fees are billed to the client who must then submit a claim to their insurer. Whynacht Security Solutions will not bill third parties except in exceptional circumstances evaluated on a case by case basis.

  24. This client doesn't need EMSAR any more. What now?
    Because EMSAR systems are rented rather than sold, all components supplied to a client to facilitate service remain the property of Whynacht Security Solutions. When a system is no longer required, a phone call to our office is all it takes to arrange recovery. This is quick and painless, incurring no fees. For refund issues pertaining to mid-term cancellations of annual service, consult How much does EMSAR cost?


100 High Street,
Suite 111
Bridgewater, Nova Scotia
B4V 1V9