New service provider for Okanagan 911
This fall, 911 call answer services for local communities will move to a new service provider.
Starting Nov. 18, 911 calls placed from the North Okanagan, Columbia-Shuswap and Central Okanagan regional districts will be answered through E-Comm, the emergency communication centre located in the Lower Mainland.
“For almost two years, we have been exploring various options for 911 call answer services on behalf of nine Interior regional districts,” said Robert Hobson, chairperson of RDCO, which administers the service.
“In 2012 we were advised by the RCMP that we would be facing significant increases for provision of 911 services. After an extensive review and negotiations, we’ve recently signed a five year contract with E-Comm in Vancouver. The transition from the RCMP operational communications centre to E-Comm will take place Nov. 18.”
Hobson says that switching to E-Comm over five years will save the regional district 25 per cent in overall program operating costs.
“That translates into total savings of more than $2.1-million for the program, proportionately shared by the regional district partners,” he said.
“Public safety remains our top priority. E-Comm’s outstanding track record of high quality and reliable 9-1-1 answering services, means all residents in the affected regional districts can be assured there will be professionally handled, quick response to their initial emergency calls.”
Until the change this fall to E-Comm, 911 calls will continue to be answered by staff in the RCMP’s operational communications centre.
Within the the nine regional districts during 2013, a total of 226,796 911 calls were received and answered by the OCC based in Kelowna.