Oliver Grüter-Andrew, President and CEO
This year, we marked 20 years of helping save lives and protect property in B.C. From answering that first 9-1-1 call back on June 8, 1999, E-Comm has grown to a team of more than 650 public safety communications professionals—all dedicated to serving the public and first responders.
Our work affects real people.
We help make sure first responders get home safely at the end of a long shift. No matter who they are or what their circumstance, we get people the help they need—often in the most perilous of situations. We find new ways of doing things and implement technology to support this work so we can keep evolving and getting better. We advocate, we educate and we contribute to a healthy society. I am incredibly proud to say that I am a part of E-Comm and the public safety community. But most of all, I am proud to know and work with every member of our team across four locations. We are also thankful of the many partnerships we’ve cultivated within the public safety community, governments and volunteer organizations over the last two decades.
Earlier this spring, we were honoured to have our Lower Mainland Emergency Communications Centre as the site of an important B.C. Government announcement. Labour Minister Harry Bains announced the Province is extending presumptive coverage to emergency dispatchers, call takers, nurses and healthcare aids. This means they’ll be able to receive workers’ compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental injuries without having to prove their condition was caused by their work. Adding call takers and dispatchers in the legislation truly recognizes that emergency communications professionals face many day-to-day challenges and need every bit of support possible. Protecting their mental health and well-being is critical.
We too took another step this past quarter to support our staff by welcoming a registered clinical counsellor and certified assistance dog to our team. Lynn Gifford, a specialist in trauma stewardship, joined E-Comm as our Workplace Wellness Manager along with Koltan, a certified assistance dog from Pacific Assistance Dogs. Every day, I see how Lynn and Koltan are having a positive impact at E-Comm. You can’t help but smile and seek a cuddle with Koltan when they enter a room and Koltan knows when you need one. This is such a wonderful initiative and, in the words of one of our team members on Vancouver Island, is “a boost to the happiness factor at work.”
As we look to the future of our service, our workforce and our relationships, I am pleased to announce we now have a new strategic plan to guide the next phase of E-Comm. Called (a)SPRIRE 2025, our plan is focused on service, the people who provide it, innovation and trusting relationships. As communities and technology continue to evolve, (a)SPIRE 2025 will be our strategic roadmap, focused on five key commitments: Service, People, Innovation, Relationships and Expansion. I encourage you to have a look at our plan at ecomm911.ca and we welcome your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In closing, I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank all first responders across our province for helping to keep us safe throughout the summer and, of course, every day of the year.