E-Comm

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E-Comm Logo E-Comm (officially as Emergency Communications for Southwest British Columbia Incorporated) is the regional 9-1-1 answer point for the Southwestern British Columbia region that stretches from Vancouver to Langley which serve more than two million residents. E-Comm also provides a Wide-Area Radio System that is used by police agencies, fire departments and the British Columbia Ambulance Service.

Contents

History

The concept of consolidating emergency communications in southwest British Columbia began in the early 1990s following a series of international disasters.

In spring of 1994, hockey-fever captured British Columbia as the Vancouver Canucks advanced to the Stanley Cup final. They lost the game and as fans took the streets to lament the team's loss, so did many trouble makers. The Vancouver Police were forced to call in the Crowd Control Unit and request back up from neighbouring RCMP detachments in an effort to disperse the out-of-control crowd. In the midst of the chaos, the Vancouver Police radio system was unable to handle the amount of radio traffic and paramedics, firefighters and police found themselves in danger because their radio systems were not compatible with other.

Following the Stanley Cup riot, provincial government began planning for a organization that will consolidate all emergency radio and phone services to allow information sharing between agencies and members.

E-Comm was established under the Emergency Communications Corporations Act in 1997. As a cost-recovery business corporation, it is owned by shareholders made up of all the agencies that uses its service. These include municipalities, police boards, provincial and federal government agencies, and Crown corporations.

E-Comm is legally immune from law suits that rises out from work conducted by them, under section 10 of the ECCA. This is usually seen in Crown Corporations but E-Comm, as a public company, also enjoys such right.

Location

Entrance of E-Comm E-Comm is located at 3301 East Pender Street, across from PNE. The E-Comm building is a post-disaster facility, meaning designed to resist a major earthquake of 7 in the Richter Scale.

Backup support systems that lend to the building's self-sufficiency include communication, mechanical plants, emergency power generation, uninterruptible power sources, emergency water, and emergency food storage.

Glasses used in the building are all bullet-resistant and shatter-proofed. In addition, the incorporation of natural light, reinforced concrete structure and advanced security system are all features of the E-Comm building.

The 9-1-1 dispatch centre, Regional Emergency Operation Centre, Vancouver Emergency Operation Centre (EOC), Vancouver Emergency Community Telecommunications Organization (VECTOR) and Vancouver Emergency Social Services are several of the emergency organizations hosted inside this building, in addition to the offices of Vancouver Fraser Port Authority.

Governance & Shareholders

E-Comm is managed by a Board of Directors made up of 17 members nominated by the shareholders.

Day to day operation is managed by the President & CEO of E-Comm, assisted by the Vice-President & CFO.

Shareholders include:

Statistics

  • Year 2007, a total of 1,037,852 phone calls were made to E-Comm.
  • Year 2006, 1,089,771 phone calls were made to E-Comm.
  • Year 2005, 1,248,521 phone calls were made to E-Comm.
  • Year 2004, 1,258,824 phone calls were made to E-Comm.
  • Year 2003, 1,252,903 phone calls were made to E-Comm.
  • Year 2002, 1,200,930 phone calls were made to E-Comm.

The reduction in phone calls made to E-Comm was partially due to public education/outreach in reminding citizens that cell phones can made 9-1-1 calls without the user knowing it and teaching parents to education children on the use of 9-1-1 service.

Levies

Currently, E-Comm has an annual budget of $50 million, collected through the municipalities that use E-Comm’s service. This includes the Radio Levy (based on radios issued and traffic), the Dispatch Levy (based on allocation of human resources to take the call and dispatch officers) and the 9-1-1 Levy for Metro Vancouver region that is collected through property taxes.

See also


External links

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