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News : Corner Brook Handling Avalon 911 Calls as Talks Continue
St. John’s, NfL, Canada, Feb 23, 2015 -- The St. John's Fire Fighters Association is refuting recent comments by Public Safety Minister Judy Manning. President Doug Cadigan says while Manning suggests that the new province-wide 911 service will answer calls within 15 seconds, 90 per cent of the time, that's where the comparison to the current system offered by the St. John's Regional Fire Department ends. Cadigan maintains that it's what happens after the call is answered that separates the service provided, from the model being proposed.
Cadigan says in her statements, Manning has essentially admitted that the model government is proposing is call centres. He says instead of bringing the entire province down to the lowest common level, standards should be brought up to the level being provided in the metro area.
Government says Corner Brook will provide interim 911 service to rural parts of the Avalon Peninsula until a permanent provider can be found.
The city of St. John's and the province are currently embroiled in a dispute over who will provide the service, with the city wanting to maintain control over the capital budget and intellectual property, which includes data and software.
Technical difficulties prevented the roll out of the service at the end of 2014 - it's now intended to be operational by March 1.
Justice Minister Judy Manning says the St. John's Regional Fire Department will continue to service the metro area until a permanent provider is in place, but it will be Corner Brook covering the remaining 70,000 people on the Avalon.
Manning says the province can not accept a different level of service inside the overpass compared to outside the overpass.
Manning says talks have taken place with the RNC to take over the service for the Avalon, but she says she's still open to further talks with the city.
Manning says she understands the Mayor's position in that he's looking for what's best for his residents, but from government's perspective it needs to do what's best for the entire province.
Meanwhile government is denying a Liberal projection that moving the 911 service from the St. John's Regional Fire Department to another provider to cover the Avalon Peninsula will cost an additional $2 million.
The Liberals are questioning government's logic, but Justice Minister Judy Manning says the province has to have control over the capital budget and intellectual property, which includes data and software.
Manning says the "Public Safety Answering Point" is essentially a call centre.
She's still aiming for 911 to be rolled out the first week of March.
Manning notes that St. John's Regional receives a subsidy which it presumably would no longer require if stopped providing 911 service.
She says talks have taken place with the RNC to take over the service for the Avalon, but she's still open to further talks with the City of St. John's.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Wednesday, February 25, 2015