Emergency fire calls in the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) will soon be answered in Surrey, rather than Nanaimo. The RDN and the City of Nanaimo made the decision because of high costs of upgrading to the new Next Generation 911 platform. The move will save an estimated $3.5 million over five years, according to the RDN.
“Technological advancements have positive impacts that we enjoy each and everyday. However, sometimes the advancements require updates that organizations, certainly local governments, are unable to manage, due to the costs and complexities associated with them,” said Leonard Krog, Nanaimo mayor and RDN director.
The city and the RDN accepted a proposal from the City of Surrey based on its cost and capacity to handle increases in service demand during major incidents and its post-disaster facilities.
“Together, we are continuing to provide a resilient and effective 911 service to our communities,” said Tyler Brown, RDN chair.
The City of Surrey will have the ability to dispatch multiple agencies and support multi-jurisdictional incidents that occur within the City of Nanaimo and RDN electoral areas A, B and C (South Wellington, Cassidy, Cedar, Gabriola and surrounding islands, Extension, East Wellington and Pleasant Valley) and the District of Lantzville.
The City of Surrey currently provides fire dispatch services to 41 agencies across B.C., handling over 80,000 calls annually.
Central Island 911 has dissolved and is moving to Surrey, according to the RDN. The partnership was established in 1994 and provided a 911 Public Safety Answering Point service administered through an agreement with ECOMM and a fire dispatch service currently administered by the City of Nanaimo through Nanaimo FireComm.