Province introducing new 911 standards

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Above: Minister Anderson receives a tour of the Edmonton Police Service 911 call centre from Inspector Graham Hogg.

by Morinville News Staff

The province is introducing new 911 standards to make the service more consistent across the province.

The standards apply to Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs), the first people on the line when you call 911 and the ones who dispatch calls to the appropriate emergency services.

Currently, Alberta’s 911 system is led at the local level. Municipalities will continue to deliver and run 911 services; however, the government says the new standards will create a more consistent approach.

The new procedures will establish an agreed upon terminology, set performance targets requiring calls be answered within 15 seconds and transferred within 60 seconds after answering, and require centres to have a quality assurance plans and annual internal audit processes. Additionally, centres will have to 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,” said Shaye Anderson, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “I am proud that our new standards will ensure timely service, whether you live in Cardston or Calgary, Edmonton or Ensign.”

The standards were developed in collaboration with members of the Alberta 911 Association, including PSAPs, and other 911 stakeholders, such as policing organizations, Alberta Health Services and TELUS.

There are 21 regional 911 centres, which receive an average of 4.3 million calls a year.

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