Blog | 911 Emergency Dispatcher | 911 Emergency Dispatch

NEWS RELEASE: CUPE 8911, E-Comm ratify new collective agreement

VANCOUVER— Emergency Communications Professionals of BC, represented by CUPE 8911, have ratified a new three-year collective agreement with E-Comm Emergency Communications for British Columbia (E-Comm) that addresses important improvements to wages, benefits, and working conditions.

The agreement, reached on May 3, focuses on the essential work of emergency operators and their crucial role in public safety and, says the union, will help ensure consistent service for emergency communications in British Columbia. The new agreement is retroactive to January 1, 2023, and is in place until December 31, 2025. It includes wage increases of 4.25, 3.75, and 3.5 per cent in each year of the agreement.

“We worked with E-Comm to address important issues facing our members so we can provide the best possible service to the public,” said CUPE 8911 President Donald Grant. “This agreement provides a solid foundation for further progress we can continue to build upon.”

E-Comm Vice President (People and Culture) Greg Conner described the agreement overall as “very positive for our employees and for E-Comm. It better supports our people, in a way that will help improve retention and stability in our operations. It also equips us to better meet the significant labour-shortage and staffing challenges that we continue to face.”

While pleased with the new collective agreement, Grant said the union remains dedicated to addressing ongoing pressing issues through advocacy.

“We remain committed to ensuring that the provincial government establish consistent service and response standards for emergency communications in B.C.,” he said, adding that the system needs sufficient resources to deal with rising demands and increased threats of natural disasters.

“Our goal is to ensure that the province’s emergency communications services are resilient enough to meet the increased demands resulting from climate change and social change, ensuring prompt assistance for every citizen, regardless of their location,” stated Grant.



Media contacts

Dan Gawthrop: CUPE Communications
Phone: 604.999.6132 E-mail: dgawthrop@cupe.ca

Dave Cunningham: VP Communications and Public Affairs, E-Comm
Phone: 604.215.6248 E-mail: media@ecomm911.ca


NEWS RELEASE: E-Comm, CUPE 8911 reach tentative agreement

VANCOUVER—E-Comm 9-1-1 (Emergency Communications for British Columbia Inc.) and Emergency Communications Professionals of BC (CUPE Local 8911) reached a tentative agreement late last night for a new three-year collective agreement.

“This new deal modernizes our collective agreement with improvements to compensation, benefits, and support for B.C.’s first, first responders who make sure there is someone there to answer the phone when you need help,” said CUPE 8911 President Donald Grant. “More work will need to be done to stabilize staffing levels at E-Comm, but this is an important step towards making sure there is a strong and resilient emergency communications system in British Columbia.”

E-Comm Vice President (People and Culture) Greg Conner said the proposed agreement was reached in a spirit of cooperation and mutual respect. “The outcomes will have lasting and positive impact on our collective ability to recruit, retain and develop the people who provide essential public safety services to the people of B.C,” said Conner.

Terms of the agreement will be released upon ratification by both parties.

– 30 –

About Emergency Communications Professionals of British Columbia:

ECPBC represents more than five hundred 9-1-1 operators, call takers, dispatchers, IT, and support professionals employed by E-Comm Emergency Communications for BC Inc. with worksites in Vancouver, Burnaby, and Saanich, ECPBC’s members provide 99 per cent of the initial 9-1-1 call answer for the province and answer, triage, dispatch, and update the calls in order of priority for 33 police agencies and 40 fire departments in B.C.

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 across the province. 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 contacts

Donald Grant
President, Emergency Communications Professionals of B.C.
Phone: 778-898-9081
E-mail: donald.grant@epbc.ca

Dave Cunningham
VP Communications and Public Affairs, E-Comm
Phone: 604-215-6248
E-mail: media@ecomm911.ca

Recognizing our first, first responders during 9-1-1 week

It may be during the worst moment of your life, when you have an emergency and need to call 9-1-1, that you truly realize how critical the call taker on the other end of the line is. 9-1-1 is more than just a phone number. It’s the lifeline ensuring you get the help you need in a life-or-death situation. Supported by technologists and corporate services teams, our call takers and dispatchers come into work – rain, shine, snow or smoke – and handle more than 5,700 emergency calls a day, impacting the lives of many British Columbians.

This year, Emergency Service Dispatchers’ and 9-1-1 Awareness Week runs from April 9-15, as proclaimed by the Province of British Columbia. This week highlights the crucial role every E-Comm employee plays in keeping communities, police, fire, and ambulance personnel safe. It is also our opportunity to recognize each emergency communications professional and express our collective appreciation for their hard work and unwavering dedication to public safety.


Whether an emergency has impacted you or a loved one, or you want to show your appreciation for our staff and the important work they do, here is your chance to take a moment to thank a 9-1-1 employee in the form below.

You can also join us on TwitterFacebookInstagram and LinkedIn to recognize our staff, sharing your 9-1-1 stories and keeping up-to-date with Emergency Service Dispatchers’ and 9-1-1 Awareness Week.


Thank a 9-1-1 Hero

MEDIA ADVISORY: E-Comm welcomes new provincial funding for Next Generation 9-1-1

E-Comm 9-1-1 welcomes the announcement made today by the Government of British Columbia, which provides significant new funding to assist E-Comm and its local government partners with costs related to the implementation of federally-mandated Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) across B.C.

The Province is allocating $90 million to E-Comm for the deployment of NG9-1-1 technology improvements and their respective start-up costs. This funding will help E-Comm, as the first answer point for 99 per cent of 9-1-1 calls in B.C., complete the NG9-1-1 transition on behalf of: the 25 Regional Districts for which we provide 9-1-1 call answer services; the 33 police and 40 fire agencies across B.C. for which we also provide call-taking and dispatch services, Saanich Fire, and all RCMP detachments in the province.

An additional $60 million will be provided to the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) in relation to NG9-1-1 implementation costs associated with emergency communication centres, including for the police and fire agencies who do not contract with E-Comm for their dispatch services or who are not part of E-Comm’s NG9-1-1 program.

“We thank the Government of British Columbia for this significant new funding for Next Generation 9-1-1,” says Oliver Grüter-Andrew, President & CEO of E-Comm. “Next Generation 9-1-1 is a game changer for our local government partners and public safety agencies. It will enable precise location tracking, real-time texting to 9-1-1, and a range of other vital improvements, including new options for how we respond to people needing mental health support.”

The Province’s funding represents a significant savings for E-Comm’s local government and public safety agency partners, who would have otherwise borne the full cost of these technology improvements.

This is an investment that will enhance emergency response, ensure public safety and improve the lives of the thousands of British Columbians who call and depend on 9-1-1 each day.

NEWS RELEASE: Faulty fuel pumps, flat tires and frivolous complaints continued to tie up 9-1-1 resources in 2022

Vancouver, B.C., January 4, 2023—Whether you’re fed up with the nozzle failing to fuel your car at the gas station or you’re a driver dealing with a flat tire, consumer complaints do not belong on the emergency lines. E-Comm, which handles 99 per cent of B.C.’s 9-1-1 call volume at its two emergency communications centres, has released its annual top 10 list of calls that don’t belong on 9-1-1.

E-Comm call taker Mark Kolomejac has responded to many nuisance calls during his time as a police call taker. He says that although general questions and complaints might not seem like a significant burden, their impact on public safety can be detrimental. The worst part? The problem is preventable.

“Nuisance calls never belong on emergency lines, but it’s extremely concerning how often callers know their non-urgent concerns aren’t an appropriate reason to call 9-1-1. We regularly get callers stating ‘I know this isn’t an emergency, but I didn’t know who else to call,’” explains Mark. “If you have a flat tire or a broken windshield wiper for example, we can’t help you on 9-1-1, but a towing company or roadside assistance will be able to get you the support that you need.”

By making the right call, you can help ensure that your loved ones get the assistance that they need in an emergency. It can be confusing to know the right resource to reach out to, so E-Comm has a comprehensive list of alternative resources on its website: nonemergency.ca

As we enter the New Year, E-Comm is encouraging British Columbians to commit to a resolution that they can keep—protecting the province’s critical emergency resources by keeping 9-1-1 lines free for police, fire and ambulance emergencies.

E-Comm answered a total of 2,109,440 calls on 9-1-1 in 2022, marking the busiest year in the organization’s history with a 1.8 per cent increase from 2021. Of these calls, 98 per cent were answered in five seconds or less – surpassing both E-Comm’s contracted service level and industry standards for 9-1-1 call answer. Despite a publicly recognized rise in demand for all emergency services, E-Comm call takers continue to field nuisance calls on 9-1-1, diverting critical resources from British Columbians in real emergency situations.

Top 10 Nuisance Calls of 2022

  1. The nozzle wasn’t working at the gas station
  2. They had a flat tire
  3. People were playing basketball on a public court at night time
  4. Someone wasn’t picking up after their dog
  5. Someone was using their garbage bin
  6. Complaining about children drawing with chalk at a playground
  7. Their phone was stuck in a bench
  8. Looking for an update on a nationwide telco outage
  9. Someone cut in line at the car wash
  10. Someone called 9-1-1 because they had a broken window wiper



Photo/Interview Opportunity

E-Comm invites the media to its Lower Mainland Emergency Communications Centre at 3301 East Pender Street on Wednesday, January 4 between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. for interview opportunities with police call taker Mark Kolomejac. Mark can speak to his experience responding to nuisance 9-1-1 calls and the importance of protecting critical emergency resources.

Interviews must be confirmed in advance at media@ecomm911.ca

Photos and b-roll may be found here.

Media contact
Kelly Furey
Communications Specialist

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 across the province. 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.

Next Page »