NEWS RELEASE: Recognizing the first, first responders during 9-1-1 week

The Province of British Columbia has declared April 14-20 as Emergency Service Dispatchers and 9-1-1 Awareness week, in honour of the 9-1-1 call-takers, dispatchers, technology specialists and support staff who help keep our communities and first responders safe across the province.

You may take emergency service call takers and dispatchers for granted until you have a reason to call 9-1-1, but these are the people we turn to for help and safety during some of life’s most difficult moments. They make up the backbone of B.C.’s emergency response system, answering some of the most challenging calls with calming and reassuring voices to ensure you get the help you need in an emergency.

“This week, we recognize the staff at E-Comm who work tirelessly as the first, first responders and the lifeline between the public and our emergency services partners on the ground across the Province,” says Stephen Thatcher, Vice President, Operations. “It is impossible not to be inspired by our employees’ commitment to providing the robust infrastructure and services needed to ensure seamless public safety communications and responding swiftly to crises. Their professionalism is nothing short of commendable, and I am truly appreciative of the work they do.”

In addition to recognizing the unsung heroes of 9-1-1, this week is also an opportunity to remind everyone of simple, yet essential, steps we can take to help protect B.C.’s critical emergency resources.

  • Know when to call 9-1-1 vs Non-Emergency. 9-1-1 is for emergencies where urgent help is required from police, fire or ambulance. To report a crime that does not require immediate help from police, call the non-emergency line or file a report online. Find your local number or online reporting tools at
  • Avoid accidental calls to 9-1-1. E-Comm receives hundreds of accidental calls to 9-1-1 every day. Lock and store your phone or smart devices carefully. If you or a family member does call by accident, stay on the line. You won’t be in trouble, we simply need to verify you are safe.
  • Know your location. Cellphones provide general information but they don’t pinpoint an exact location for 9-1-1 call-takers. Callers are always the best source of information, especially during an emergency when time is of the essence. Always know your location including what city you are in, building or home addresses, cross streets or any other landmark information that will help emergency personnel find you.
  • Be prepared to answer questions. It’s the job of 9-1-1 call-takers to get you the emergency response you need. To do that, call-takers are trained to ask specific questions in a priority sequence, relaying information via computer to dispatchers and first responders. Listen carefully, speak clearly and try to remain calm.

9-1-1 is more than just a phone number—it’s a critical lifeline for those who need help during an emergency. Thank you for doing your part to keep 9-1-1 lines free for emergencies only.

Are you interested in helping to save lives and protect property? It’s your time to make a difference. Learn more about a career at E-Comm by visiting