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.

Just Posted

Coming up in Cowichan: Festival, fair and Oktoberfest

Learn about fossil fuel alternatives at Charged Up! festival Sept. 21 The… Continue reading

Guest column: Inheritance under BC Law, Part II — Children & Spouses

A will-maker must fulfill any legal and moral obligations to his/her children

Drivesmart column: No, the armpit belt is not legal

The belt must be worn snugly over the pelvis and collarbone, not the neck.

Why “Weir” Ready: with Dr. Shannon Waters

This is part one of a feature series by the Cowichan Watershed Board

Robert Barron column: A Canadian hero I wish I had talked to

Almost nobody was there on that cold Newfoundland day when Terry Fox started his run

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Federal party leaders address gun violence after weekend shooting near Toronto

One teen was killed and five people injured in the shooting

Scheer makes quick campaign stop in Comox

Conservative leader highlights tax promises early in campaign

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Most Read