Fraser Valley/Vancouver – Starting January 19, 9-1-1 calls in the Fraser Valley will now be fielded by E-Comm, the emergency communication centre located in Vancouver. E-Comm will service the communities of Chilliwack, Mission, Hope, Kent, Harrison Hot Springs and Electoral Areas A through H.
Currently, 9-1-1 response services are under contract with the RCMP’s Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) based in Chilliwack. When a call comes in to 9-1-1, operators determine the nature of the emergency and then transfer the caller to the requested first responder agency, either fire, police or ambulance.
“While the RCMP has provided exceptional service to the FVRD over the years, on review of the contract the Board of Directors decided to move to E-Comm,” says Paul Gipps, CAO of the FVRD. The new contract will result in a budget reduction of approximately $316,000, a savings that will be proportionately shared by the partner communities.
Gipps says that public should not notice a difference when dialing 9-1-1. “This will be a seamless operational change. Residents in our communities can rest assured that they will continue to receive the high quality service they expect when seeking emergency assistance.”
E-Comm is the largest 9-1-1- call centre in British Columbia and is currently responsible for 84 percent of the province’s 9-1-1- call volume. The company also provides dispatch services to 33 police and fire departments and operates the largest emergency radio system in the province.
For those who have EMS scanners there won’t be a block in recepton although there have been rumblings that scnner chatter could go digital within the next few years, following the lead of Vancouver, Kamloops and Kelowna.