CEO Update

CEO Update: Oliver Grüter-Andrew

Oliver Grüter-Andrew, E-Comm President and CEO

Oliver Grüter-Andrew, E-Comm President and CEO

Opening an emergency communications facility requires a significant collaborative effort and the new South Island 9-1-1/Police Dispatch Centre is a shining example of what can happen when people with the same vision and passion for public safety come together.

I would like to thank everyone, in particular members of the South Island Steering Committee, who worked with E-Comm staff so diligently over the last two years to keep this project on track. We look forward to the official opening of the centre in March. Our public safety footprint expanded again in February when we welcomed fire departments in the Fraser Valley Regional District and Regional District of the North Okanagan to our dispatch service. Our goal is to provide the best possible service to all partners.

Looking back to the last quarter of 2018, our focus was on completing and seeking approval of our new strategic plan—the roadmap that will help guide E-Comm for the next five to seven years.  Working with staff, our Board of Directors and stakeholders, we identified key commitments and the strategies to help move them forward for an even greater contribution to public safety in our province. Our new plan places emphasis on the mental health of our frontline staff, builds on existing relationships with police, fire and ambulance services and establishes new relationships that support our collective public safety mandates. We will also continue to work on major technology and operational initiatives to help us get ready for the next phase of 9-1-1 services. We expect to launch our new strategic plan this spring.

Also in the fall, the City of Burnaby became a shareholder in E-Comm after purchasing a Class A share for police services in November. They are now one of 24 Class A shareholders in
E-Comm, and it is the first share the city has purchased in the company, although the Burnaby RCMP has been using our E-Comm Wide-Area Radio Network since 2000.

In 2018, 9-1-1 call volume neared 1.6 million for the year. I am proud of our professional call takers who continue to exceed our goal of answering 95 per cent of those 9-1-1 calls in five seconds or less. In fact, our service level for answering 9-1-1 calls in 2018 was 98 per cent. Their dedication and the effectiveness of our service was evidenced by the massive influx of calls on December 20 when high winds hit the South Coast. Over a 12-hour period starting at 7 a.m., we received nearly 6,000 9-1-1 calls—more than double the amount we receive on a regular Thursday during those hours.

On one final note, on behalf of the board, I wish to welcome Maple Ridge Mayor Mike Morden (representing the cities of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows) to the Board of Directors.

South Island Steering Committee list