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.