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City of Nanaimo, RDN transitioning to fire dispatch service from City of Surrey

Switch anticipated to save $3.5 million over five-year period
Central Island 911 has a new fire dispatch service provider. (E-Comm 911 photo/Submitted)

The City of Nanaimo and the Regional District of Nanaimo are transitioning fire dispatch services from Nanaimo FireComm to the City of Surrey.

Nanaimo FireComm is operated by the City of Nanaimo and the decision to transition to a new service provider was made due to the technology upgrades that would be required for the Next Generation 911 platform and rising operational costs, according to an RDN press release.

The move is estimated to save $3.5 million in technology upgrades and operating expenses over a five-year period, the press release said.

After exploring alternative service providers, the City of Nanaimo and the RDN accepted a proposal from the City of Surrey based on its ability to deliver full dispatch services, capacity to handle increases in service demand during major incidents, post-disaster facilities and a competitive cost structure, said the press release.

The Central Island 911 partnership was established in 1994 and provides 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, the RDN said.

The Central Island 911 partnership with the City of Nanaimo and the RDN, under the new fire dispatch service provider, will ensure the service continues to be delivered in an efficient and cost effective manner.

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, according to the press release.

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“We are pleased to maintain our long-established Central Island 911 partnership with the City of Nanaimo,” said Tyler Brown, RDN board chairperson, in the press release. “Together, we are continuing to provide a resilient and effective 911 service to our communities.”

“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, in the press release. “As we transition to a new service provider, I want to take this opportunity to thank all the staff who have worked in our Fire Dispatch Centre.”

The City of Surrey currently provides fire dispatch services to 41 agencies across British Columbia, handling over 80,000 calls annually. Their extensive operations ensure the level of service our communities expect on a day to day basis will be maintained while having the resources on-hand to respond to large increases in call volume and fire dispatch support services, the press release said.

— NEWS Staff

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