An important focus for E-Comm in the first few months of 2016 will be welcoming our new police dispatch partners—the Delta and Port Moody Police Departments—into our consolidated emergency communications centre. These transitions follow two other recent successful new partnerships: 9-1-1 Primary Public Safety Answer Point services for central Vancouver Island and the Upper Fraser Valley. E-Comm is now the first point of contact for 9-1-1 callers in both these areas.
Hundreds of behind-the-scenes operational and technical requirements were carried out for each transition. I would like to thank the staff of all regional districts involved, along with our first responder partners and TELUS, for their efforts in ensuring the switch was seamless for the public.
Preparations for Delta Police Department’s integration into our communication centre remain on track for March 1. We are extremely pleased to be welcoming this progressive department to E-Comm and look forward to benefitting from the skill and expertise their staff bring to call-taking and dispatching. I am also happy to report that Port Moody police will be transitioning their call-taking and dispatch services to E-Comm May 10 and we are excited to welcome their skilled staff as well. Like Delta, we have been longtime radio partners with Port Moody police. We have also been radio and dispatch partners of Port Moody Fire-Rescue for close to 15 years and Delta Fire & Emergency Services since 2003.
The Next Generation Radio Program (NGRP) is well advanced and our staff—in partnership with representatives from police, fire and ambulance services—will continue to move the program forward in 2016. We were very pleased with the results of pilot testing and the NGRP Working Group’s endorsement of the new radio system’s network design and audio quality. With the endorsement and formal approval of the E-Comm User committee, the project can move into the next phase and remains on schedule for rollout by the end of 2017/early 2018. We have provided more detail on the NGRP in this edition of e-communiqué.
I would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge Jordan Bruce, Lori Pike and Michelle MacRae who were recently recognized by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials with the Excellence in Teamwork Award. The award recognized their exemplary dispatch service during an active shooter event in 2014. I would like to also acknowledge the Vancouver police officers involved for their skill and bravery during this dramatic situation.