CEO Update

Photo of David Guscott, President and CEO of E-Comm

Photo of David Guscott, President and CEO of E-Comm

E-Comm began the year by joining Greater Victoria’s police leadership, the Capital Regional District and provincial government in announcing a new consolidated 9-1-1 and police dispatch centre for southern Vancouver Island. As part of this initiative, I’m proud to report that E-Comm will be managing the state-of-the-art facility on behalf of the police agencies within the Capital Regional District.

E-Comm will be responsible for 9-1-1 call-answer services for the South Island and call-taking and dispatch services for the Victoria, Saanich, Central Saanich and Oak Bay police departments and West Shore RCMP.

This exciting project will considerably shift the public-safety landscape in the region—enhancing emergency communications and providing increased benefits through the advantages of consolidation: Increased capacity, a larger workforce capable of scaling up during major events and improved operational and technical redundancy. This also marks a major milestone for E-Comm, one that allows us to strengthen our public safety role in B.C. through our public safety services and technology. It is an opportunity our organization—with the full support of our Board of Directors—is proud to move forward with in conjunction with our South Island partners.

In other E-Comm news, after receiving final approval on the overall design and functionality of the new P25 digital radio network, known as the Next Generation Radio Program (NGRP), emergency service agencies in the Lower Mainland began moving onto the system in April. E-Comm’s Wireless team has been working hard to address challenges that naturally arise with a technology project of this magnitude. We look forward to sharing more details on agency transitions in our next issue.

I’m pleased to report that through careful planning and due diligence, the NGRP $60 Million capital project will not result in any spike in annual radio levies. This demonstrates the value of E-Comm’s cooperative model and illustrates the ongoing commitment we have to providing our shareholders (radio members) with high-quality public safety services in the most cost effective way possible.

On the topic of service excellence, E-Comm was gratified to learn that the results of our annual public confidence survey once again demonstrates a high degree of satisfaction in the services our organization provides. In a poll of approximately 500 residents of Metro Vancouver in December, 91% of respondents reported that they have confidence in the 9-1-1 and dispatch services provided by E-Comm. That high level of confidence would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of our employees and partners in public safety, and I would like to express my personal thanks for everyone’s efforts.

This spring we welcomed our newest 9-1-1 Primary Public Safety Answer Point partners in the Peace River Regional District. Following a seamless transition on May 17, E-Comm became the first point of contact for 9-1-1 callers in Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, Chetwynd, Hudson’s Hope, Pouce Coupe, Taylor and Tumbler Ridge along with many of the region’s First Nations communities. Approximately 20,000 calls per year from the Peace Region are now answered by one of our highly-skilled 9-1-1 call-takers who then transfer calls to the requested police, fire or ambulance agency so they can get the help they need.