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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.

The 9-1-1 call taker experience at E-Comm

E-Comm launches a new recruitment video

The days are so varied which is one reason I love this job: you never know what will be on the other side of the line. I have so many memorable calls I couldn’t narrow one down, but my most rewarding type of call is a wellness check when we find someone’s loved one they were concerned about and can let them know they are safe and sound.
– Meagan, police call taker

Tension-filled movies may have given you a certain idea of how a 9-1-1 emergency communications centre works, but have you ever received a firsthand impression of what a day as a 9-1-1 call taker can look like?

E-Comm has launched a new recruitment video to showcase our invaluable call takers and the work they do. Ultimately, we wanted to authentically portray all aspects of the call taker job – the qualifications, the challenges and the fulfillment. This video aims to inspire and attract talent to pursue a meaningful career with diverse growth opportunities in a unique and dynamic environment.

What does it take to be a 9-1-1 call taker?

Often called the first first responders, 9-1-1 call takers are the first point of contact for people needing immediate assistance from police, fire or ambulance in B.C. They answer emergency calls (9-1-1 calls), gather vital information from callers to get them the help they need and transfer those calls to the requested agency for response. Accountability, patience and resilience are only a few necessary skills to excel as a call taker at E-Comm.

This job can be extremely exhausting and stressful in the probationary period when you are undergoing training. Be humble, open to learning and know that it will get easier as you get more comfortable. If you want to succeed in this job, you need to be clear with your verbal communication, fast at typing, familiar with keyboard shortcut usage, and able to multitask on the computer.
– Brayden, peer coach

“If you are thinking about becoming a call taker, go for it. The training is available and you have a village of people behind you. We are all in this together and here to build each other up.” recommends Sarah, a police call taker at E-Comm.

Let the video speak for itself

Starting in 2023, E-Comm will be showing the recruitment video at call taker information sessions, career fairs, new employee orientations, industry panels, and career fairs – take a first peek at the video below and get inspired.

Did we spark your interest?

Find out if 9-1-1 call-taking is the right career path for you by taking our self-assessment and reading about the call taker experience, including qualifications, salary, the recruitment process, and more here.

Ready to start the application process? Apply below to become a 9-1-1 call taker in our Vancouver Island or Lower Mainland Emergency Communications Centre.

911 Emergency/Non-Emergency Call Taker | Vancouver Island

911 Emergency/Non-Emergency Call Taker | Lower Mainland

NEWS RELEASE: E-Comm staff take home multiple national awards for emergency communications

Vancouver, B.C. – The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) Canada has named E-Comm the recipient of two national awards – Trainer of the Year and the Teamwork Award – for exemplary efforts in emergency communications through a challenging year for the organization in 2021.

Each year, at the APCO Canada Conference & Tradeshow, a number of awards are issued recognizing telecommunicators, technologists, trainers and teams who demonstrate excellence and leadership in their dedication to public safety. Nominees may have used uncommon methods to problem solve during an emergency call, worked as a team to create a solution to an unexpected event, or were instrumental in making a difference in the outcome of a critical incident.

One of E-Comm’s Vancouver Island-based Training Specialists, Nicole Israel, was named APCO’s Trainer of the Year for her work adapting the centre’s training curriculums to include specialized classes designed to teach multiple skillsets simultaneously. This was done in response to a growing need for cross-trained staff as pressures from COVID-19 and the extreme weather events faced across British Columbia led to increased demand for emergency services. Israel went above and beyond to ensure the training programs adhered to adult-learning best practices, including using gamification in her modules, while providing outside-of-the-box opportunities for learners to get real-life experiences with tools and file types in a learning environment.

E-Comm was also presented with the 2022 Teamwork Award for its Operations team’s response to the 2021 heat dome event. In late June, emergency response providers were stretched beyond their limits when the province experienced an unprecedented heat dome where temperatures soared as high as 50 degrees Celsius in some parts of the province.

When temperatures rose, so did calls to 9-1-1, peaking at unprecedented more than 8,000 calls a day during the height of the heat dome. As a consolidated emergency communications centre, E-Comm handles 99 per cent of 9-1-1 calls in B.C., with 9-1-1 call takers immediately transferring callers to the emergency response agency of request. However, during this extended tragic and heart-breaking crisis, 9-1-1 call takers waited on the line for extended periods with callers in distress as the BC Ambulance Service was overwhelmed by the heightened demand. In some instances, E-Comm call takers stayed on the line listening to multiple people pass during one shift. Despite this, staff found the courage, resilience and perseverance to come back and do it all again each day during the crisis – all in the name of public safety.

All members of the Operations team worked tirelessly, 24 hours a day, throughout the heat event to support the overwhelmed ambulance service. The level of coordinated effort was extraordinary and required unique problem-solving skills and work-around processes to support public safety, many of which remain in place today.

Award winners and presenters on stage smiling for camera at APCO Canada awards ceremony.

Award winners and presenters on stage smiling for camera at APCO Canada awards ceremony.

APCO’s Trainer of the Year Nicole is accepting the award on stage at APCO Canada.

APCO’s Trainer of the Year Nicole is accepting the award on stage at APCO Canada.


About E-Comm 9-1-1

E-Comm 9-1-1 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


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