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Garden Spot Village

April 22 2016
Case Study • April 2016
Garden Spot Village • New Holland and Akron, PA
Garden Spot Village collage


For twenty years, Garden Spot Village (GSV) has served as a continuing care retirement community, located in the Lancaster County towns of New Holland and Akron, with just under 1,000 residents and about 500 employees. They offer a "resort-style" campus with independent living cottage and carriage homes, dining venues, activities and trips, at-home services, a community church, personal care, memory support, and skilled nursing. Andrew Dietzel has been GSV's Director of Information Technology for twelve years, and while he says security cameras were part of the original construction, he has overseen the gradual upgrading to networked IP video. "Cameras monitor foot traffic at building entrances, vestibules, and sliding doors, and have been expanded to cover vehicle entrances as well," he shares.

Video security systems were implemented to enable security and IT staff to review footage, Dietzel says, "So if there is ever an event, such as a resident elopement, we can determine the time the individual left the building, through which exit, and if the person left the campus. We're also able to monitor employees, and their coming and going, if a question ever arises." While staff are not constantly monitoring cameras, Dietzel's IT team is responsible for reviewing video footage when the need arises.

Dietzel has been on-staff the entire time App-Techs has worked with GSV, and says the initial connection "was just good timing. We were looking to upgrade some of our old, standalone, coax-connected, black-and-white cameras ... and App-Techs sounded like a good fit." He adds, "Since we started to use Milestone, the nature of that software has made it easy to continually expand and add cameras."


The team at App-Techs has provided GSV with our EasyNVR servers, one at each of their two sites. While each server is independent of the other, they are linked as "master-slave." Company co-founder Dan Fritsch expands on this a bit. "You can log into one and through that, access the other, but it's not one centralized system." The senior living community uses Milestone Professional to manage their video recording system.

Sales coordinator Jenny Romanosky points out one aspect at GSV that is different from some other App-Techs clients. "They're using ZK Access Control instead of Isonas and POE readers," she says, and this access control system is stand-alone rather than integrated with Milestone. Fritsch explains, "They just wanted an affordable system. It's a panel-based system that's a lot less expensive to deploy ... so Milestone and ZK are two independent things," demonstrating our continued commitment to offering customers' the most cost-effective solutions to best meet their needs.

As far as wireless radios, project manager Andrew Haefner states, "They use Ubiquiti there," adding, "It's a combination of PTZ, outdoor, fixed [wireless] cameras – all IP and digital – as well as indoor [wired]. They're looking into expanding their system," he continues. "There are about 37 cameras now ... that are actually recording." Romanosky and Fritsch add, however, that because GSV has areas where they are not allowed to record cameras, nine additional cameras are "not on the recording system, [but are] just being viewed through a 'spot monitor,' or a standalone monitor."

Fritsch makes a point of emphasizing, "Andrew [Dietzel] has been a loyal customer of ours for a long time, and he's a super-nice guy ... and he just keeps giving us more work."

Solutions (continued)

"The other thing to add about them, they have Covert Sentry as well," Haefner says, referring to our portable video surveillance system. Fritsch elaborates. "They normally use that ... for their annual marathon. That and another camera are used for people to remotely watch the event, like the start/finish lines. They drive around with Covert Sentry in the pace car," taking advantage of its portable, mobile abilities. Haefner shares that the unit is used "currently in the greenhouse that's being built."


Andrew Dietzel says the retirement community has been able to assist local police through the sharing of video surveillance footage. "On our campus is a building that we call the Center for Health. We own it, but we lease it to Wellspan/Ephrata Hospital. A handful of times, there might be a drunk driver, or just someone the police are looking for who they know was at the Center on a particular day. We've been asked to review and send them particular footage that can identify or prove [a suspect] was there, or driving when they weren't supposed to be." He goes on to say, "There have been a few instances where we have felt there's been some scam going on ... people visiting residents asking for money or that type of thing. We've been able to identify makes and models of vehicles to watch out for ... identify when they came on campus, and when they left."

He also shares, "We have the Milestone Mobile app installed on a number of smart phones used by our employees. I know our Campus Services team, in the winter, really appreciates being able to use [the app]. Whether they're at home or on the road, they can use Milestone Mobile to keep track of snowfall, so that they know when the appropriate time is to come in and start clearing the snow."

"We had App-Techs replace all of our cameras in our Laurel View Memory Support household [where] there are about twenty residents or so with Alzheimer's or dementia." While cameras were previously monochrome with no recording capability, Dietzel states, "Now the staff has high-resolution, color cameras, and a nice display right there at their nurses' station. If there ever would be a resident elopement, we can see what the resident was wearing and which door they went out, and when. Fortunately that has never happened since App-Techs has been on the scene, but if it ever would, we know we have the capability to help locate resident. Having the high-res, color cameras makes it a lot easier for the nurses to monitor areas that may not be visible directly ... but with the cameras, they can see the whole household from the nurses' station, helping to ensure the safety and security of the residents."

"Something that we'll look at in the future," says Dietzel, "might be taking App-Techs up on their offer to do official [Milestone] training, because there's undoubtedly something that we're not doing the most efficient way, or there may be features we're not using that may help us make better use of the software."

In terms of his customer experience with App-Techs, Dietzel shares, "Very good. They've always provided great customer service ... [and] been open to helping us find custom solutions, or willing to go the extra mile to find something that works for us. They definitely like having long-term relationships with their customers. They don't want to just sell you a product or sell you a solution, and then be out of the picture. They want to be involved, and provide ongoing maintenance and support – that 'go-to company' when we have a new project, or need a new solution."

To learn more about how App-Techs can help your organization, call (717) 735-0848, contact our sales department, or visit our website.