Northern Rockies Regional Municipality

9-1-1 in the NRRM

 

9-1-1 in the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality is LIVE!

Contents

What is 9-1-1 and how does it work?

When is it appropriate to call 9-1-1?

What happens when someone calls 9-1-1 in the Northern Rockies?

A few points to remember about 9-1-1

Does your business use a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) or Do You Have a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system?

Acknowledgements

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is 9-1-1 and how does it work?

9-1-1 is a universal phone number that can be used in an emergency to report serious medical problems, crimes or fires. It should only be used in an emergency. Telephone service providers recognize the 9-1-1 digits and forward all calls to the designated Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP).

Calls placed to 9-1-1 are answered by rigorously trained telecommunicators (the NRRM has selected the City of Grande Prairie Fire Rescue/GP911 as PSAP). Telecommunicators have been trained to answer calls and evaluate emergencies, and  will do all they can to help you.  They will ask questions to get complete information, and forward the call to a dispatcher for police, ambulance or fire. This may happen while they are still speaking to you, so it is important to stay on the line and follow instructions until you are told it’s OK to hang up the phone.

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When is it appropriate to call 9-1-1?

Call 9-1-1 if:

  • A crime is happening;
  • You see a dangerous fire; or,
  • You or someone else needs urgent medical help.

Do not call 9-1-1, use a non-emergency number instead, if:

  • Your bicycle was stolen;
  • Your vehicle was broken into; or,
  • Your neighbors are making a lot of noise.

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What happens when someone calls 9-1-1 in the Northern Rockies?

  1. In an emergency, call 9-1-1. This is the fastest way to access police, ambulance or fire services.
  2. The telecommunicator will ask what community you are in. Tell them where you are.
  3. The telecommunicator will ask if you need police, fire or ambulance services. Describe the help you need.
  4. The telecommunicator will ask for your phone number. Give them your phone number and follow their instructions.
  5. 9-1-1 will connect you to help. The telecommunicator will connect you to emergency services in your community.

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A few points to remember about 9-1-1

  • Dialing 9-1-1 on a cell phone in an area with no cell coverage will not work
  • You cannot text 9-1-1 in the Northern Rockies
  • Do not hang up, stay calm, and speak clearly
  • If you get disconnected call 9-1-1 again
  • The telecommunicator will not know your location unless you tell them
  • The telecommunicator will stay on the line with you and give additional help if needed

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Does your business use a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) phone system or do you use a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system?

A PBX or private branch exchange is a telephone network or switching service that’s used by private organizations. The PBX switches calls between company users on local lines while allowing them to share external phone lines. A PBX also allows you to have more phones than physical phone lines.

If your business or organization uses a Private Branch Exchange (PBX), you’ll need to ensure it is programmed to call the local PSAP provider. Otherwise, 9-1-1 calls may be forwarded to a PSAP provider located in the area where the telephone line originates. This information also applies to users who use “leased lines” to provide their telephone service. Likewise, if your business or organization uses a PBX, you’ll need to ensure it is programmed to be able to out-dial the three-digit number (9-1-1) into the local Northwestel exchange.

Contact your PBX service provider or the supplier you purchased your PBX from if you are unsure whether 9-1-1 calls from your PBX will be forwarded correctly to the local PSAP. More information

Portable interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services can be used from virtually any internet connection anywhere, which raises challenges for the emergency services community in determining the location from which a 911 call has originated. Tips for VoIP subscribers [PDF - 598 KB]

You should be aware that:

  • VoIP 911 calls may not connect to the 911 Public Safety Answer Point (PSAP) serving your current location, instead going to the VoIP-providers call centre and requiring extra transfers to reach the right resources.
  • VoIP 911 calls may correctly connect to the 911 call center but not automatically transmit the caller's phone number and/or location information.
  • VoIP customers may need to provide location or other information to their VoIP providers, and update this information each time they change locations for their VoIP 911 service to function properly.
  • VoIP service may not work during a power outage or when the internet connection fails or becomes overloaded.

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Acknowledgements

Efforts to secure 9-1-1 began more than a decade ago and have had to overcome significant financial, logistical and technical obstacles to get to this point.

Most recently, the support provided by Honourable Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, as well as senior staff within the Ministry proved invaluable in advancing the project. Also key to the successful establishment of 9-1-1 was the contribution of Glen Miller of Pomax Consulting who brought a wealth of experience and insight to the exercise. Northwestel Inc., Bell Mobility and Telus Mobility worked collaboratively with the Municipality to complete this project.

 

What would you like to know about 9-1-1?

Send your questions to JustAsk@NorthernRockies.ca or call 250.774.2541.

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