How 9-1-1 works
E-Comm is where your 9-1-1 call comes if you live in Metro Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD), and the Squamish and Whistler areas. E-Comm also provides emergency dispatch services for a number of police and fire departments in those areas.
The 9-1-1 service is contracted to E-Comm by regional districts, which funds this service through property taxes.
When a caller dials 9-1-1, the E-Comm call-taker asks, "do you need police, fire or ambulance?" The call-taker will also confirm for which municipality. E-Comm's job is to then connect the caller as quickly as possible to the agency the caller has requested. The E-Comm call-taker will remain on the line with the caller until the agency answers. The entire process usually takes around 30 seconds.
If a caller is unsure of what service they need, the E-Comm 9-1-1 call-taker is trained to ask a few brief questions to help determine which agency is required and will connect the caller accordingly. Once connected to the agency, their dispatcher can, at any time, also contact other agencies to assist with response. For example, if the BC Ambulance Service receives a call where police presence is required, they will contact the appropriate department/detachment for assistance.
Please use 9-1-1 responsibly. Check out our tips for proper use section.
E-Comm can accept 9-1-1 calls from the hearing impaired through TTY (telephone typewriter) units.
The E-Comm advantage:
- Experienced 9-1-1 call-taking and dispatch staff
- Answers 95% of 9-1-1 calls on the first ring (less than 5 seconds) on an annual basis
- Develops, implements and upgrades 9-1-1 technology that provides for reliable and consistent call-answering
- Electronic transmission of vital incident information to emergency responders
- The cost of the system's infrastructure is shared among member agencies
- The call centre is located in a post-disaster facility
- The system has many levels of redundancy