Abbotsford firefighters now using clear and safe radio communications

Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service firefighters are now communicating on the E-Comm Wide-Area Radio Network, after joining the system on May 27, 2020.

Fire Chief Don Beer made the department’s first broadcast on the digital system and, for the first time, was able to use his radio to communicate directly with Abbotsford Police Chief Mike Serr. Interoperability between police, fire and ambulance personnel within a community land across municipal boundaries is a key feature of the E-Comm radio system, which has its roots from the 1994 Stanley Cup Riot.

On June 14, 1994, after the Vancouver Canucks lost game seven of the Stanley Cup final, a riot erupted on the streets of downtown Vancouver. The Vancouver Police Department’s radio system was unable to handle the increase in radio traffic as police officers, firefighters and paramedics responded to the chaos. In addition, the agencies couldn’t communicate with each other to coordinate their response, as they were on different radio systems. The incident led to the birth of E-Comm and a new regional radio system.

Fast forward to 2020: Abbotsford Fire Rescue joins three dozen agencies in the Lower Mainland on the E-Comm radio network.

BC Emergency Health Services within Metro Vancouver and Abbotsford, all police agencies in Metro Vancouver and Abbotsford and 16 fire departments in Metro Vancouver use the E-Comm Wide-Area Radio Network. The network has about 10,000 activate or available radios. In 2019, firefighters, police officers and paramedics made 48.9 million transmissions on the network.

Read more about Abbotsford Fire Rescue joining the network.

Find out more about the network and E-Comm’s technology services.