E-Comm first point of contact for 9-1-1 on central Vancouver Island

E-Comm 9-1-1 call-takers now answer approximately 57,000 emergency calls made each year from central Vancouver Island.
E-Comm 9-1-1 call-takers now answer approximately 57,000 emergency calls made each year from central Vancouver Island.

The transition of 9-1-1 Primary Public Safety Answer Point (PSAP) services for central Vancouver Island to E-Comm was successfully completed at 0915hrs November 17. Just eight minutes later, the first 9-1-1 call from the Central Island was received by E-Comm and transferred to the ambulance service in Victoria. This transition made E-Comm the first point of contact for 84% of British Columbia’s 9-1-1 calls.

Conrad Cowan, the Cowichan Valley Regional District’s (CVRD) Public Safety Manager, acknowledged the collaborative preparation that led to the smooth transition.

“It was very beneficial having E-Comm spend time with us to ensure that we were provided with the very best tailored solutions for emergency communications and the ability to protect the public and save lives,” praised Cowan. “Having looked at all the emergency communications options available to us, from a public safety perspective, it is a pleasure knowing that we have such a dedicated organization serving our communities.”

E-Comm staff carry out final preparations before the official 9-1-1 cutover on November 17, 2015.
E-Comm staff carry out final preparations before the official 9-1-1 cutover on November 17, 2015.

Approximately 57,000 emergency calls are placed annually from the regional districts of Nanaimo and Cowichan Valley, which are now received by E-Comm’s team of highly skilled 9-1-1 call-takers. Staff quickly confirm which agency is required and for which location and then immediately transfer the calls to local police, fire and ambulance dispatch centres.

9-1-1 Flow chart

“9-1-1 is a critical lifeline for people in need of immediate help from first responders and we are committed to providing high-quality, responsive 9-1-1 service to our new partners and the residents of central Vancouver Island,” added David Guscott, E-Comm President and CEO.

“From a public safety perspective it is a pleasure knowing that we have such a dedicated organization serving our communities.”

Conrad Cowan,
CVRD Public Safety Manager

The City of Nanaimo and the regional districts of Nanaimo and Cowichan Valley jointly own the Central Island 9-1-1 system. They determined through an independent study that transferring Primary PSAP Services would result in considerable cost savings, while providing access to additional staffing resources and the necessary expertise to satisfy current and future technical requirements for 9-1-1.

“Public safety is always a priority and the new partnership with E-Comm will ensure our communities receive added operational and technical benefits,” explained Colin Haime, Deputy Chair of the Regional District of Nanaimo. “This includes a larger workforce to handle high call volume as well as increased security and resiliency.”

E-Comm also answers 9-1-1 calls for five other regional districts on Vancouver Island, as well as Metro Vancouver and 16 other regional districts and communities across B.C.