NEWS RELEASE: E-Comm receives national public-safety for 2010 Olympic Games performance

Vancouver, B.C. – The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) has awarded E-Comm 9-1-1 its Public Safety Excellence in Teamwork award for a gold-medal performance during the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games—the busiest two weeks in the emergency communication  centre’s history.

The award recognizes the efforts of 9-1-1 call-takers, dispatchers, and critical support staff who worked throughout the Games and in particular, two of the most challenging shifts: the night of the Opening Ceremonies and Day One. On both occasions, call-takers and dispatchers coped with huge crowds and multiple violent protests.

“9-1-1 staff may work behind-the-scenes, but they are an integral part of public and responder safety,” says E-Comm President & CEO David Guscott, who saw the events unfold first-hand. Guscott was the VANOC executive vice-president in charge of the Opening Ceremonies at the time. “It was a frightening situation for many, including many innocent bystanders in attendance, and the skill and stamina of E-Comm staff certainly supported the successful efforts to end the violence quickly and peacefully.”

As the Public-Safety Answer Point for Metro Vancouver and surrounding areas, E-Comm staff are accustomed to receiving thousands of 9-1-1 calls every day. But in February 2010 call volumes increased by 11 per cent (79,000 calls) over the previous year. Calls for police in Vancouver and Richmond, two Olympic host cities, increased by a resounding 28 per cent. The amount of radio traffic dispatchers had to contend with also increased by a staggering 40% on just February 12 alone.

“The 2010 Winter Games presented one of the biggest challenges and also proudest moments for me, my team, E-Comm, the host cities and the entire country,” says E-Comm police dispatcher Tammy Baines, who recently accepted the award at the APCO Canada 2011 Conference in Ottawa.  “I’m so lucky to be a part of such a dedicated, professional and skillful team. This recognition affirms my sense of pride in what we all do every day at E-Comm.”

E-Comm spent years planning for the Olympics, including providing 900 hours of in-house training for its 250 Operations staff in support emergency services and the 7,000 police officers from across Canada deployed for the safety and security of the Games.

APCO Canada President Ryan Lawson says the performance of E-Comm staff really stood out. “The Award Committee is made up of public-safety professionals across the country, so they can all personally attest to the work and composure required in managing an event of this magnitude.”


For more information:

Amanda Brkich, E-Comm Corporate Communications

Direct: 604-215-4813

Twitter: @EComm911_info

*Additional background info:

    • E-Comm staff members accepting the Public Safety Excellence in Teamwork award at the APCO Canada Conference, who are residents of the following communities:
      • Melissa Johnson, operations team manager – Vancouver
      • Tammy Baines, police dispatcher – Langley
      • Heidi Fritsch, police call-taker – North Vancouver
    • Ryan Lawson, APCO Canada President and E-Comm operations manager is a resident of Richmond
  • The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO), Canada, Inc. is a voluntary, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the enhancement of public safety communications. Members come from every type of public safety organization in the country, including 9-1-1, police, fire and emergency medical services, as well as emergency management, disaster planning and federal search and rescue personnel. For more visit