Investigation into May 5th 9-1-1 service disruption now complete

May 12, 12:00 p.m. – An investigation conducted into the 9-1-1 service disruption that impacted callers within the Central and Southern Interior for a number of hours on May 5 is now complete. This investigation has shown that the cause of the disruption was an equipment failure on a piece of core technology within the TELUS network that allows 9-1-1 callers to be routed to the E-Comm emergency communications centre for call-answer.

TELUS has confirmed that this issue has been resolved and all system redundancy has been fully restored and tested.

When E-Comm was first made aware of the issue at approximately 2:30 p.m. on May 5, the emergency communications centre immediately engaged TELUS – the 9-1-1 network infrastructure provider for British Columbia. TELUS technicians began troubleshooting the issue with E-Comm technology staff, and service was restored on a back-up system at approximately 6:00 p.m. that same day.

Impacted areas included the Regional Districts of the Central Okanagan, North Okanagan, Okanagan-Similkameen, Thompson-Nicola, Columbia-Shuswap, Squamish-Lillooet (North), Central Kootenay, East Kootenay and Kootenay-Boundary. During the outage, no other areas of the province were impacted.

The priority for E-Comm during this time was to ensure a workaround was available for people needing immediate assistance from police, fire and ambulance. E-Comm’s Operations team made arrangements with the RCMP to have calls answered via local police non-emergency lines, and the organization took steps via media and social media to direct people to call the ten-digit non-emergency lines if they had an emergency for which immediate action was required.

As of May 10, just before 12:30 p.m., TELUS switched the 9-1-1 service back to the primary system with no interruptions reported.


May 5, 7:45 p.m. – E-Comm is confirming that 9-1-1 calls for the Central and Southern Interior are once again coming through to the emergency communications centre.

At approximately 2:30 p.m. on May 5, E-Comm was made aware of a 9-1-1 system disruption that impacted callers in the Regional Districts of the Central Okanagan, North Okanagan, Okanagan-Similkameen, Thompson-Nicola, Columbia-Shuswap, Squamish-Lillooet (North), Central Kootenay, East Kootenay and Kootenay-Boundary. During this time, callers were directed to call the police non-emergency lines to receive help from police, fire or ambulance. No other regions were impacted by this service outage.

The cause of the outage is currently under investigation with TELUS technicians continuing to work through the night. Further details will be provided in the coming days.


May 5, 4:00 p.m. – A 9-1-1 service disruption is currently impacting callers within the Central and Southern Interior areas. At this time, 9-1-1 service is not functioning and the cause of the disruption is unknown. Technicians are working with TELUS to determine the root cause and restore service as soon as possible.

Until further notice, E-Comm is advising the public in the Central and Southern Interior to call their local 10-digit police non-emergency line if they have an emergency for which immediate action is required: someone’s health, safety or property is in jeopardy or a crime is in progress. Callers in need of urgent medical care or fire response should dial the police non-emergency number and relay this to the call taker.

All local non-emergency numbers can be found at: nonemergency.ca.

To keep non-emergency lines free for emergency callers, residents of the Central and Southern Interior are asked not to call with non-urgent matters at this time. Non-emergency reports can still be made through online reporting at nonemergency.ca.

9-1-1 service is functioning normally for all other areas of the province.