New 9-1-1 service model for the Valley coming soon

A primary 9-1-1 call answering service for the Comox Valley and beyond will save around $1.7 million

A primary 9-1-1 call answering service for the Comox Valley and beyond will save around $1.7 million without compromising service, explained the president of the North Island 911 Corporation Wednesday.

Jon Ambler said the corporation’s board of directors voted to contract with E-Comm based in Vancouver for 9-1-1 call answering services, which is strictly the PSAP — the public safety answering point — when an individual calls the emergency line.

“When someone calls 9-1-1 they ask what the nature of the emergency is —fire, police or ambulance — and they immediately transfer the call to a dispatcher,” he explained.

The call will then be transferred either to the Courtenay Operation Communications Centre (OCC) for police, North Island 911’s fire dispatch centre in Campbell River, or Victoria for ambulance, which will all remain the same.

Currently, the initial answering point for PSAP for the North Island 911 Corporation is the RCMP OCC in Courtenay. The corporation has an agreement with the RCMP OCC to perform the function, but following an analysis by the consulting firm Pomax, it found the service was not part of the force’s core business and the price would be increasing.

“The physical location (of PSAP) doesn’t add value to the location of the services,” explained Ambler. “Telephone calls move at the speed of light. You can be on Mars and still answer 9-1-1 calls … where you’re sitting doesn’t matter.”

“E-Comm does calls for millions of people … they have a contract with us to answer 95 per cent of calls in five seconds or less.”

Ambler added there is significant value with keeping local centres to handle the call following the transfer, and said E-Comm is “probably one of the best call centres in North America.”

He said the company is a not-for-profit, and said the decision was based upon two priorities: ensuring service would not be reduced or inadequate and that service has to be affordable.

The cost of the new model for PSAP will be $2,003,510 over five years, and is scheduled to take effect this fall.

Despite the change, Lois Karr, manager for the Operation Communications Centre division, confirmed there will be no loss of jobs.

“They will be absorbed,” she noted and added all employees of the OCC are civilian members of the RCMP and are trained in both 9-1-1 and police dispatch.

There are four PSAP positions, funded by the North Island 911 Corporation, with a full time staff of 30 at the OCC, supplemented by approximately 12 casuals which cover holidays and busy periods.

Established in 1995, The North Island 911 Corporation covers the largest geographical 9-1-1 area in Canada, covering regional districts of Comox Valley, Strathcona, Mt.Waddington and Alberni-Clayoquot, Powell River and a portion of the Nanaimo Regional District.

photos@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Just Posted

A Tribe Called Red, Tanya Tagaq among artists featured in Indigenous music film

When They Awake coming to Stan Hagen Theatre for one night

CVRD moves to goal-setting stage for sewer service plan

Workshops planned for next week in Comox and Courtenay

Comox Valley Santa’s Workshop in need of bicycles for youngsters, gifts for teens

Santa’s Workshop, at 464 Puntledge Road (formerly the Red Cross building), is… Continue reading

Comox connection to launch of new $10 bill

Great nephew of Viola Desmond says bill is a ‘step in the right direction’

Changes coming to BC Ferries reservations for Vancouver Island routes

Many customers are booking multiple reservations, inflating wait times

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Mid Island Farmers Institute discusses fleece at November meeting

Are you a lover of wool and local fibre? Interested in raising… Continue reading

Comox Valley Nature invites the public to learn about nature photography

Comox Valley Nature is hosting a public lecture on photography. Join Terry… Continue reading

Trial: Witness describes encounter with accused murderer while tending to fatally injured Descoteau

Wright said he was working in his yard when he heard a woman screaming.

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Most Read