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Emergency Service Dispatchers’ and 9-1-1 Awareness Week

Emergency call takers and dispatchers are the backbone of B.C.’s emergency response system. They answer the most difficult 9-1-1 calls with calming and reassuring voices to making sure that you get the help you need.

To recognize the dedicated work of emergency call takers, dispatchers, technology specialists and support personnel, the Province of British Columbia has declared April 5 – 11 as Emergency Service Dispatchers’ and 9-1-1 Awareness Week.

Follow E-Comm on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn) throughout the week to see some words of appreciation from our police and fire partners and to share your shout-outs or stories!

COVID-19 Resources

Please remember that 9-1-1 emergency and non-emergency call takers cannot provide general information or updates on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation.

Help us keep these vital lines free for emergencies and incidents requiring response from first responders by using the following resources for COVID-19 related enquiries:

  • Dial 1-888-COVID-19 for non-medical information about COVID-19 (available 7:30am-8pm)
  • If you are sick, use the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool to help determine if you need further assessment or testing
  • If you feel that you might have COVID-19, please call ahead to your primary care provider’s office or 8-1-1 to assess whether you need testing
  • Visit the BC Centre for Disease Control website for up-to-date information on COVID-19 in British Columbia or the Government of Canada website for national information and resources
  • Visit your local police agency website for information about front counter closures and availability of services such as fingerprinting and criminal record checks

E-Comm announces new Collective Agreement with CUPE Local 873

Vancouver, B.C.—E-Comm and CUPE Local 873, the Union that represents the company’s 533 Bargaining Unit employees, announced today that a new Collective Agreement has been achieved through binding interest arbitration.

Under the four-year agreement, employees will receive a 2% increase in year one with a 2.5% increase in each of years two and three, plus a 3% increase in year four). The new Collective Agreement is effective from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2022. The deal also includes a 3% market adjustment for emergency communications employees, above and beyond the general wage increase, in recognition of the complexity and demands of the job.   

“We recognize and appreciate the critical role our employees play in emergency communications, and the valuable work they do every day keeping British Columbians safe,” says E-Comm CEO Oliver Grüter-Andrew. “Now that the arbitration process is complete, we’re looking forward to working with the Union and our partner agencies to continue advancing public safety in B.C., while ensuring labour stability for the first responder community.”

E-Comm and CUPE Local 873 began collective bargaining in April 2019 and pursued mediation through the Labour Relations Board (LRB) in October 2019. The LRB appointed Vince Ready as the arbitrator for E-Comm and CUPE Local 873 in December 2019, after both parties mutually agreed to move to binding interest arbitration.

E-Comm is responsible for 99% of the province’s 9-1-1 call volume and handled more than 1.84 million 9-1-1 calls in 2019. For more information about E-Comm, visit ecomm911.ca.  

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About E-Comm
E-Comm is the first point of contact for 9-1-1 callers in 25 regional districts in British Columbia and provides dispatch services for more than 70 police agencies and fire departments. E‐Comm also owns and operates the largest multi‐jurisdictional, tri‐service wide‐area radio network in the province used by police, fire and ambulance personnel throughout Metro Vancouver and parts of the Fraser Valley.


Media Contact

Jasmine Bradley
E-Comm Corporate Communications
604-215-5023

South Island 9-1-1/Police Dispatch Centre marks first year of service

From Ladysmith to Sooke and from the Gulf Islands to Victoria, residents of central and southern Vancouver Island have now been receiving 9-1-1 and police dispatch services from the South Island 9-1-1/Police Dispatch Centre, located in Saanich, for one full year. Built and owned by the Capital Regional District (CRD) and operated by E-Comm, the South Island 9-1-1/Police Dispatch Centre officially opened on March 6, 2019.

The centre merges 9-1-1 call-answer, police call-taking and dispatch services for the Central Saanich, Oak Bay, Saanich and Victoria police departments and 11 RCMP detachments in the central and southern Vancouver Island region. Previously, 9-1-1 calls and police dispatch services in the region were managed by three call centres in Victoria, Langford and Saanich..

Since the centre opened, it has handled 134,452 9-1-1 calls from central and southern Vancouver Island.

The following videos chronicle each agency’s transition into the building, culminating in the grand opening event on March 6, 2019:

More than 1.8 million 9-1-1 calls answered in 2019

In 2019, we answered more than 1.8 million 9-1-1 calls in B.C.! 97% of those calls were answered in 5 seconds or less.

From those calls:

  • 67 per cent of calls were for police
  • 27 per cent of calls were for ambulance
  • 6 per cent of calls were for fire

Find out more about our 9-1-1 call statistics.

We also received a total of 23 Text with 9-1-1 (T9-1-1) calls in 2019. T9-1-1 is a specialized texting service available for people who are Deaf/Deaf-Blind, Hard-of Hearing or Speech Impaired (DHHSI) that allows registered users to communicate with 9-1-1 call-takers through text. Find out more about T9-1-1.

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