Province implementing changes to standardize 911 call centres across Alberta

Click to play video: 'One set of standards for all Alberta 911 call centres' One set of standards for all Alberta 911 call centres
WATCH: Changes are on the way to how you call for help in an emergency in Alberta. As Tom Vernon explains, the province's 911 network is getting ready for a technological leap – Aug 28, 2018

The province has established new standards with a goal of improving safety by making 911 service more consistent across Alberta.

The new standards apply to 911 dispatchers, who are responsible for dispatching calls to the appropriate emergency service.

The 911 system will continue to be led at the local level but the province said it’s creating a more consistent approach to improve service.

READ MORE: Edmonton police first in Canada to run two 911 centres

The NDP government listed several new standards that will align the process of answering and transferring emergency calls:

  • Establish agreed terminology
  • Set performance targets requiring calls be answered within 15 seconds and transferred within 60 seconds after answering, 95 per cent of the time
  • Require centres to have a quality assurance plan and annual internal audit processes
  • Mandate that centres have backup procedures to ensure 24/7 service continuity in the event of an outage or disruption

“Albertans should receive quality 911 service and know the emergency response system is there for them when they need it — no matter where in the province they live,” Municipal Affairs Minister Shaye Anderson said.

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“I am proud that our new standards will ensure timely service, whether you live in Cardston or Calgary, Edmonton or Ensign.”

READ MORE: Edmonton police dealt with 10,000 more calls for service in 2015

The Alberta 911 Association, policing organizations, Alberta Health Service and TELUS were involved in creating the new standards.

“These standards are a very positive step to ensure everyone receives reliable and consistent 911 services,” Alberta E911 Advisory Association chair Magni Magnason said. “The AEAA is pleased to have been a part of this collaborative process to improve public safety for citizens.”

LISTEN BELOW: Graham Hogg with EPS speaks with 630 CHED’s Ryan Jespersen

Call centres will have until June 12, 2019 to fully comply with the standards.

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The province said the Alberta 911 Program, an Alberta government unit, will work with Public Safety Answering Points to make sure the standards are being followed.

READ MORE: The dos and don’ts of dialling 911

“The Edmonton Police Service (EPS) is honoured to have participated in the development of the Alberta 911 standards and we’re proud of the single, cohesive approach to answering 911 calls that has been created,” EPS Deputy Chief Brian Simpson said.

“The standards will help us and our partner agencies work toward the common goal of ongoing community safety.”

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