North Island 9-1-1 call-answer service successfully transferred to E-Comm

Vancouver, B.C.— Today at 9:43 am, 9-1-1 call-answer service for the North Island 9-1-1 Corporation (NI9-1-1) successfully transitioned to E-Comm—British Columbia’s largest 9-1-1 public-safety answer point—making the emergency communications centre the first point of contact for 9-1-1 callers in the Comox Valley, Strathcona, Mt. Waddington, Alberni-Clayoquot and Powell River Regional Districts (excluding Lasqueti Island), in addition to a portion of the Nanaimo Regional District (School District 69).

When a 9-1-1 call is received by E-Comm from the NI9-1-1 service area, a large team of highly-trained 9-1-1 call-takers will quickly confirm which agency the caller requires and for which location before transferring the call to the same local police, fire and ambulance dispatchers (located in Courtenay, Campbell River and Victoria), who will continue to dispatch responders to emergency situations. The changeover to E-Comm will be transparent to callers, who should continue to dial 9-1-1 as usual if they have an emergency.

“We all know 9-1-1 is a critical lifeline and this new partnership will provide a number of benefits for North Island residents beyond the significant cost savings,” explained NI9-1-1 President Jon Ambler, who was in the communications centre for today’s cutover. “E-Comm can respond to sudden influxes of 9-1-1 call volume because of its substantial staffing and integrated 9-1-1 call-answer model and it operates on a secure and resilient technical infrastructure, which is extremely important when it comes to 9-1-1 lifelines,” he added.

A detailed transition plan, combined with months of collaboration and coordination between NI9-1-1, the RCMP, the BC Ambulance Service, TELUS and E-Comm, in order to complete the hundreds of behind-the-scenes operational and technical requirements, is credited with the success of today’s transition. Pre-transition work included the engineering, design and installation of new 9-1-1 infrastructure and a comprehensive training program that familiarized E-Comm staff with the many geographical and other special attributes of the region, even though dispatching will continue to be managed locally.

“Our goal is to ensure residents of the North Island continue to receive high-quality, responsive 9-1-1 public-safety answer point service 24-hours a day,” said David Guscott, E-Comm President and CEO. “Our 15-year track record of fast and effective 9-1-1 call-answer supports NI9-1-1’s commitment to public safety and we are very pleased to be their new partners.”

NI9-1-1’s call volume in 2013 was 63,000. E-Comm’s current service area includes the Northern Interior, Sunshine Coast, Squamish-Lillooet Regional Districts and Metro Vancouver with a combined call volume of more than 900,000.
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Video footage of 9-1-1 calls for the regional district members of North Island 9-1-1 Corporation being answered at E-Comm, interviews with North Island 9-1-1 Corporation President Jon Ambler and
E-Comm CEO David Guscott, photos, and b-roll footage of the cutover and E-Comm communications centre are available for media on
sendtonews.com.

E-Comm is the largest 9-1-1 call centre in B.C.,servingMetro Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast, Whistler, Squamish, Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (south), the Northern Interior and now Northern Vancouver Island. E-Comm also provides dispatch services to 33 police and fire departments throughout the Lower Mainland, Sunshine Coast and Squamish-Whistler areas, and operates the wide-area radio system used throughout Metro Vancouver by police, fire and ambulance personnel. 

In November, nine additional regional districts (Central and Southern Interiors) will also move 9-1-1 call-answer services to E-Comm.

Media contacts:

E-Comm 9-1-1
Jody Robertson
604-215-4956 or 604-640-1342
jody.robertson@ecomm911.ca

North Island 9-1-1 Corporation
Jon Ambler
250-339-8162 or 250-465-9339