CEO Update

Oliver Grüter-Andrew, E-Comm President and CEO

Oliver Grüter-Andrew, E-Comm President and CEO

It’s been a year since I joined the E-Comm team and I can’t believe how fast the time has gone by.

On my second day on the job, the Abbotsford Police Department transitioned 9-1-1 call-taking and police dispatch services to E-Comm. When I recently saw Chief Constable Bob Rich at his retirement celebration, I was struck by how much progress E-Comm has made in achieving its public safety mandate since he and I first met: from completing the upgrade of the Metro Vancouver-wide radio system to making tremendous progress on a new 9-1-1/Police Dispatch Centre on southern Vancouver Island, to welcoming new radio and dispatch partners, a lot has been accomplished. And there’s much more to come.

My major focus since joining the organization has been planning for the future through the development of a new strategic plan—the roadmap that will help guide E-Comm as we contribute to public safety in British Columbia. Throughout September, I met with many municipal stakeholders and emergency service partners including police, fire and ambulance leadership, to provide an update on the strategic planning process and to validate the core commitments of our plan. These visits have been a key part of ensuring we are all aligned when it comes to the goals and strategies that will help shape the future of E-Comm and our work. I look forward to sharing more about our strategic plan as we work toward a formal launch in the spring of 2019.

As we’ve seen from events this past summer, both here at home and abroad, the world is far from perfect. When major events hit such as forest fires, flooding and more recently in Canada—tornadoes—public and responder lives are put at risk. When this happens, it’s imperative that as providers of emergency communications, we are able to adapt and ensure the proper resources are in place to deliver the required level of public safety services. With that in mind, I’m pleased to report that E-Comm has begun work on a new training facility that is also capable of providing enhanced back-up operations for our 9-1-1 and police and fire call-taking/dispatch services. This project is an important undertaking that reflects our ongoing commitment to pursuing the highest level of technical and operational reliability. We anticipate this new facility will be operational by early 2019.

Our priorities for the rest of 2018, and into early 2019, will include ensuring everything is in place to support a successful Go-Live for the new South Island Centre. Final technical and operational outfitting work is underway and we anticipate receiving the keys to the state-of-the-art facility by the end of November—an exciting moment we have been looking forward to since the new consolidated centre was announced in February 2017. We will also continue work on finalizing our strategic plan and ensuring the resources are in place to cultivate a great workplace for our employees.

I would like to end this update by saying just how proud I am to lead this organization and to be part of the public safety community. Over the course of this past year, I’ve been fortunate to spend time getting to know our incredible staff and to see firsthand the ways in which our teams support the life-saving work of frontline police officers, firefighters and paramedics. It has been an amazing and gratifying first year for me. Thank you.