E-Comm’s dispatch team nominated

E-Comm’s dispatch team nominated for efforts during 31-hour fire

chemical fire at Port Metro Vancouver
chemical fire at Port Metro Vancouver
The value of integrated communications was demonstrated during a 31-hour chemical fire that saw E‑Comm’s fire dispatch team nominated for national award.

The Canadian Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) held its annual exhibition and conference in Banff in November, where the 9-1-1 call-takers and dispatchers of the 2014 Moncton shootings were honoured with the Excellence in Teamwork Award.

In a moving tribute, they were recognized for their role in responding to the tragic shootings that saw three RCMP officers killed in the line of duty and two others seriously injured. E‑Comm’s fire dispatch team was nominated in this category for its outstanding efforts during a chemical fire that broke out in a large shipping container at the Port of Vancouver the year prior. The 31-hour event saw dispatchers handle a 300% increase in 9-1-1 call volume, while simultaneously fielding calls from agencies requiring updates.

During the APCO Canada conference, E-Comm staff made presentations on lessons learned from a dangerous goods tabletop exercise and the importance of accurate staffing forecasts for emergency communications centres. The overarching theme of discussions during the conference was resiliency, and the importance of support for those working in public safety, particularly concerning mental wellness. Another topic of interest to delegates was Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1)—a North America-wide initiative to update and modernize 9-1-1 infrastructure. Discussions on the future opportunities NG9-1-1 holds for emergency services also came up at the Canadian Interoperability Technology Interest Group (CITIG) tradeshow and workshop held later in November in Vancouver. First responders, government agencies, military representatives and academic institutions from across North America participated in panel discussions about the future of public safety in Canada.

“The value of industry conferences lies in the opportunity they create to engage in high-level discussions about current and future challenges related to emergency communications,” reflected E-Comm’s Vice-President of Technology Services Mike Webb, who attended the CITIG event. “As we look ahead to the implementation of initiatives like NG9-1-1, it is imperative we address the anticipated impact on public safety agencies and look for a unified, national approach to addressing technological and operational issues.”