ODESSA — The oldest central station alarm company operating in the United States will now be operating in Pasco County.
AFA Protective Systems, founded in 1873, has moved its regional location from Tampa to a 5,800-square-foot facility in the West Pasco Industrial Park, off of S.R. 54 east of Trinity.
The company, which is headquartered in Syosset, New York, designs, installs, and monitors fire, safety and security systems.
According to the Pasco Economic Development Council, the security technology company will bring 27 high-wage jobs to the county.
“AFA Protective Systems is a pioneer in their industry, and we are proud that they now call Pasco County home,” said Pasco EDC President and CEO Bill Cronin. “Pasco’s ‘live, work and play’ communities are attracting a diverse skilled workforce that puts Pasco in a very competitive position to win future projects.”
The company has its roots in history.
After the Great Chicago Fire, in October 1872, fire prevention became a national issue.
That prompted William B. Watkins to launch the New York City-based Watkins Automatic Signal Telegraph Company in 1873 which sent alarm signals directly to the fire stations.
The company expanded to Boston a year later and then to the Philadelphia market.
In 1899, the company changed its name to Automatic Fire Alarm Company and then in 1970 to AFA Protective Systems to better reflect the expanded services.
“Most of our employees live in Pasco County and increasing their quality of life by reducing their commute times really was a major factor in our decision to move to Pasco,” said Jim Johnson, AFA regional manager. “Our business is growing in the Tampa Bay region and we like Pasco’s proximity to our customers.
Pasco Commissioner Mike Wells, who is an ex-officio member of the Pasco EDC board of directors, said AFA is a company which cares about others.
“Not only was AFA Protective Systems looking out for their employees and their quality of life when they chose Pasco, they also manufacture products that save the lives of others,” Wells said.