Cowichan 9-1-1 calls to be routed to Vancouver first

A Vancouver-based call centre has been deemed the “best option” for emergency calls originating from central Vancouver Island.

A Vancouver-based call centre has been deemed the “best option” for emergency calls originating from central Vancouver Island.

According to a CVRD press release, a recent independent study commissioned by the City of Nanaimo and the Regional Districts of Nanaimo and Cowichan Valley, who jointly own the Central Island 9-1-1 system, recently determined that transferring the Primary Public-Safety Answer Point portion of 9-1-1 response would result in considerable cost savings and also provide access to additional staffing resources and the necessary expertise to satisfy current and future technical requirements for 9-1-1.

In other words, it’s more efficient to ship calls out to Vancouver first.

“The study concluded that E-Comm has the ability to handle large spikes in incoming 9-1-1 call volume due to the size of the centre and its staffing model,” says Mike Dietrich, Nanaimo’s manager of Police Support Services.

“Combined with its built-in redundancies, we agree that E-Comm provides the best option for the Central Island 9-1-1 partnership both technically and operationally, particularly as the overall 9-1-1 system in Canada evolves in the future,” Dietrich added.

PSAP is just the first point of contact for 9-1-1 callers. They will still speak with Island-based call-takers once transferred to dispatch centres located in Nanaimo (fire), Courtenay (police) and Victoria (ambulance).

But first, they’ll hear from E-Comm staff who work at a purpose-built facility in Vancouver that’s designed to resist a major earthquake and be self-sufficient for 72 hours before being put through to the required agency.

The new internal system will have no impact on the public’s experience when calling 9-1-1, they stressed. The switchover will occur on Nov. 17.

“E-Comm staff have managed more than 15-million incoming 9-1-1 calls in our 16-years of service,” said David Guscott, E-Comm President and CEO. “We are committed to ensuring residents of the Central Island continue to receive high-quality, responsive services 24-hours a day.”

E-Comm currently manages approximately 1.25 million 9-1-1 emergency calls each year from across British Columbia. Its service is 24/7, 365 days a year and has a number of back-up provisions to ensure the continuity of 9-1-1 call answer services in a variety of scenarios.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

CVRD reopening head office, playgrounds, washrooms and more

Move part of staged reopening plan for all district facilities

Editorial: What comes next for the homeless?

We hope there is a plan in the works to make this housing-for-all push more permanent.

Paintings stolen from Honeymoon Bay studio returned

Hutchings said he received a lot of feedback from the community

3 people found violating court imposed curfews in Cowichan

People are placed on curfews for a variety of public safety reasons.

No parking on Thain Road, Shawnigan police remind

Warmer weather brings complaints near Cobble Hill quarry

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Federal aid for care home systems needed ahead of second wave, advocates say

Ontario Long Term Care Association calling for more action

B.C. woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Horgan calls for national anti-racism program; will pitch idea to PM, premiers

Premier John Horgan said he’s horrified by the death of George Floyd in the United States

Chilliwack dad rescues two young daughters after truck plunges into lake

“I used every single one of my angels that day,” said Dennis Saulnier

VIDEO: Internal investigation into aggressive arrest by Kelowna Mountie

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

Gold River ready to welcome visitors and restart local businesses

In contrast to single-industry remote communities, Gold River’s diversified economy might help it better survive after reopening

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Most Read