News : Decision on 911 Call Centre Under Wraps - For Now
June 24, 2014 -- A clear decision has been reached on the future of the 911 emergency call answering service currently based at the RCMP Detachment in Courtenay.
But exactly what it is will remain under wraps until later this week, as representatives of the six regional districts on the North Island 911 Corporation board want to report back to their respective authorities on what they intend to do.
As reported in the Echo last week, there was an 'in camera' meeting last Friday at which three possible futures for the centre were to be discussed.
One was to keep it in Courtenay with the RCMP, the others were to transfer to an alternative provider - either a significantly expanded fire dispatch centre in Campbell River to handle all 911 calls, or contracting with E-Comm, the not-for-profit emergency communications centre in Vancouver which already fields calls from large parts of the province.
Alternatives have been considered in depth because of rapidly escalating costs. North Island 911 Corporation chair Jon Ambler said estimated costs were projected to rise from $460,000 a year to more than $700,000 if a new contract with the RCMP was signed, so it was important to discover if significant costs savings for taxpayers could be made while maintaining a high standard of service.
Whatever decision has been made does not require confirmation by any of the six regional districts - the 911 board has the power to act independently.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is both a federal and a national police force of Canada, and one of the most recognized of its kind in the world. It is unique in the world as a national, federal, provincial, and municipal policing body. The RCMP provides policing services to all of Canada at a federal level, and also on a contract basis to the three territories, eight of Canada's provinces (the RCMP does not provide provincial or municipal policing in either Ontario or Quebec), more than 190 municipalities, 184 aboriginal communities, and three international airports.
Published: Monday, July 7, 2014