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District of North Vancouver Fire-Rescue joins region-wide, resilient radio network

Vancouver, B.C.—The District of North Vancouver has strengthened the communication capabilities of its firefighters following the transition of its fire service to the E-Comm Wide-Area Radio Network.

The multi-jurisdictional, multi-agency radio network, which replaces the District’s old VHF radio system, offers firefighters increased coverage and the ability to communicate directly with police and ambulance personnel within the District through the flip of a switch.  It will also allow for shared communication with responders in neighbouring jurisdictions that are also on the E-Comm radio system, like the City of North Vancouver Fire Department. This will streamline communication and enhance response as it will no longer be necessary to hand out VHF radios to City firefighters when assisting each other at both routine and major emergency events.  Now firefighters from both departments simply need to switch to a common radio channel on their own radios to communicate with each other.

“We will now be able to seamlessly communicate with the partner agencies we respond with daily,” says  District of North Vancouver Deputy Fire Chief Victor Penman.  “Not only will this be an improvement in the area of responder safety, but we strongly believe that the service we provide to our citizens has now significantly improved.  This is a very important day for the District of North Vancouver.”

55 portable radios are now deployed among the five fire halls serving the District of North Vancouver along with mobile data terminals on 14 fire trucks.

“We’re very pleased to welcome the District of North Vancouver Fire-Rescue Service, our tenth fire department, onto our radio system,” says David Guscott, E-Comm president and CEO. “Shared radio communication is critical to both emergency responder and public safety.  The E-Comm network, which is the largest of its kind in Canada, will offer better coverage, security features and an earthquake resistant infrastructure to District firefighters.”

There are more than 7,100 E-Comm wide-area radios in use throughout the Lower Mainland, generating approximately nine million radio transmissions per month, which equates to someone talking for 24-hours a day for 400 days straight.

Both the District of North Vancouver Fire-Rescue Service and E-Comm report that the changeover went extremely well thanks to thorough advance preparation work by both teams and the support of the North Vancouver City Fire Department.

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 Photos of transition day available upon request.

Contact Information:

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

Jeanine Bratina
District of North Vancouver
Telephone:  604-990-2459
E-mail:  bratinaj@dnv.org

Additional Background:

Advantages of E-Comm Radio Network:

  • Cross communication between services – police, fire and emergency health personnel within the same community can communicate directly with each other in “real” time
  • Cross communication between agencies in different municipalities – emergency personnel can communicate directly with each other in “real” time
  • Wider radio coverage area
  • Better in-building coverage
  • Greater clarity
  • Improved reliability
  • Enhanced security
  • Earthquake resistant infrastructure