News releases

For Immediate Release – December 3, 2012

E-Comm VP wins national technology award

Vancouver, B.C. — Michael (Mike) Webb, E-Comm 9-1-1’s vice-president of technology services and a Surrey resident, is one of three recipients of a National Award of Excellence in Public Safety Interoperability from the Canadian Interoperability Technology Interest Group (CITIG). Representatives of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP), the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) and the Emergency Medical Services Chiefs of Canada (EMSCC) presented the awards on behalf of CITIG at its sixth annual Canadian Public Safety Interoperability Workshop in Toronto today.

The award recognizes Webb’s leadership and vision in advancing public-safety communications interoperability efforts in Canada – both for his groundbreaking work in British Columbia and contribution to national interoperability efforts as a member of CITIG and Senior Officials Responsible for Emergency Management (SOREM) Interoperability Working Group.

“The work being done at E-Comm under Mike Webb’s leadership of operating a regional radio system that allows police, fire and ambulance personnel to communicate with each other is a model for other jurisdictions across Canada,” says Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu, CACP President. “I would like to congratulate him for his contributions to public safety in Canada.”

Webb is working with CITIG and partners across the country to secure 20 MHz of spectrum in the 700MHz wireless band for dedicated emergency service use—a necessary step for technological evolution in public safety. Dedicated broadband spectrum is needed so first responders aren’t competing with the public when sending vital communications over the network during emergencies and day-to-day operations. For example, if a building is burning, today, hundreds of onlookers could be uploading video and pictures to YouTube and Facebook. This would create congestion on these commercial networks and would prevent data from a first responder being transmitted, possibly at the exact moment a life is in danger. Public-safety broadband services will allow firefighters, police and paramedics to eventually transmit large amounts of data (such as video files) at high speed over long distances.

“The work being undertaken with partners across Canada to ensure emergency responders have access to the technologies they need is vitally important to keep communities safe,” says Webb. “I am honoured to receive this recognition from CITIG.”
Webb also co-hosted the CITIG Regional Forum in Vancouver in October and has contributed to CITIG’s Annual National Public Safety Interoperability Workshops.

“The CITIG National Awards for Public Safety Interoperability is unique in that it's the only program that celebrates excellence in work to advance responder communications interoperability in Canada,” says Lance Valcour, executive director of CITIG. “In addition to his outstanding contributions in building effective collaborative leadership in the public safety community, Mike has been incredibly supportive of and helpful to CITIG since its inception. Without a doubt, his leadership, innovation and relationship-building skills are appreciated, and have now been recognized at our national event.”


Media Contact
Jody Robertson
E-Comm 9-1-1
604-215-4956 or 604-640-1342 (pager)

About E-Comm 9-1-1

E-Comm 9-1-1 is the regional emergency communications centre for southwest British Columbia.
E-Comm answers almost one million 9-1-1 calls each year for Metro Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast, Whistler, Squamish and the southern portion of the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District, provides dispatch to 30 police and fire departments, and operates the wide-area radio system used throughout Metro Vancouver by police, fire and ambulance personnel. @EComm911_info


The Canadian Interoperability Technology Interest Group (CITIG) works to improve Canadian public safety interoperability at home and abroad through collaborative efforts, innovation and leadership. CITIG is a not-for-profit Canadian corporation managed in partnership by the Emergency Medical Services Chiefs of Canada (EMSCC), the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) and the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP). Today, CITIG is made up of more than 1200 volunteers from the responder community, all orders of government, non-governmental organizations, associations, academia and industry dedicated to improving the safety and security of first responders, and the people and critical infrastructure of Canada. For more information on the awards, visit

E-Comm's Vice-President of Technology Services Mike Webb (left) receives a Canadian Interoperability Technology Interest Group (CITIG) National Award of Excellence in Public Safety Interoperability from Ottawa Paramedic Service Supt. Greg Furlong, CITIG secretary, on Dec. 3, 2012 at CITIG's sixth annual Canadian Public Safety Interoperability Workshop in Toronto.

Photo credit: Albert Wong Photography courtesy of CITIG.

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