B.C. Interior 911 calls to be answered in Vancouver

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The Lower Mainland’s emergency communication centre, E-Comm, will be handling 911 calls coming in from the interior starting in November.

This may seem strange and make you question whether this is a safe move or not, but E-Comm’s outstanding record proves this move should be nothing but beneficial.

The National Emergency Number Association has a standard to answer 90 per cent of calls within ten seconds, yet E-Comm answers 98 per cent of their calls in five seconds or less, meaning that it will actually be quicker for people to get their calls answered based out of Vancouver.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan negotiated a five-year contract with E-Comm, taking effect on Nov. 18.

One of the frequently asked questions is “how will a 911 operator in Vancouver know where to send help?” E-Comm operators will transfer calls to the dispatch centres currently in use in that specific area.

Calls will be transferred to the suitable dispatch centres in the certain area, for example ambulance calls will be transferred to the BC Ambulance dispatch centre in Kamloops.

The reason for the transfer of 911 call answer service providers is to strengthen the regional district’s emergency services, doing so by having calls answered in a “secure, pupose-built facility.”

The switch to E-Comm will also be saving money for the regional district, estimating $2.1-million in savings over the next five years.

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