‘Aging’ 911 system to receive upgrades in Saskatchewan

The SPSA president says upgrades are required for the aging system to ensure that people in Saskatchewan can continue to rely on 911 technology. File / Global News

The Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency (SPSA) announced on Monday that it’s upgrading 911 technology.

Officials said system upgrades will ensure that the people of Saskatchewan can continue to depend on timely and efficient emergency services.

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“The existing system is aging, and these upgrades are required to ensure that Saskatchewan residents can continue to rely on secure, resilient 911 technology,” SPSA president Marlo Pritchard said in a press release.

The upgrades and maintaining essential 911 services for Saskatchewan will be funded by the monthly Sask911 fee, which is doubling to $1.88, starting April 7. These fees, which are applied to all phone bills, have not been changed since January 2018, according to a press release.

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Officials said that in the future, these fee increases will be indexed to the consumer price index for Saskatchewan to ensure the long-term financial sustainability of the provincial 911 system without requiring regulatory changes.

According to the SPSA, 470,000 calls were received by the three Sask911 public safety answering points in Regina, Saskatoon and a facility located near Prince Albert in 2020.

The SPSA is a treasury board Crown agency also responsible for provincial emergency management, fire safety and wildfire management.

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