City of Victoria and Saanich to form new regional fire dispatch service
October 27, 2017
For Immediate Release
VICTORIA, BC – The City of Victoria and the District of Saanich have agreed in principle to establish a new jointly-owned regional fire dispatch corporation. The Vancouver Island Emergency Dispatch Corporation (VIEDC) will provide fire dispatch to the two municipalities.
Saanich currently provides fire dispatch to seven other municipalities within the Capital Region: Saanich, Oak Bay, Esquimalt, View Royal, Colwood, Central Saanich, North Saanich, and Sidney. The Saanich dispatch centre is the only fire dispatch centre on the Island to use E-Comm computer-aided dispatch.
This initiative is the result of direction provided by the four Councils in the core area in 2015 to discuss closer collaboration among respective fire departments. Working towards a start date of January 2019, the new integrated service is a cost-effective and efficient way to ensure seamless service to the community. This provides an opportunity for the municipalities to strengthen their working relationship, while providing state-of-the-art fire dispatch and communications technology.
The dispatch technology will be provided by E-Comm, the largest emergency communications centre in British Columbia. E-Comm utilizes a computer-aided dispatch system that allows for swift and easy access to a wide range of information critical to emergency response.
While the Dispatch Centre will be located in Saanich, firefighters from each municipality will continue to respond to calls located in their respective jurisdictions.
Mayor Lisa Helps, City of Victoria, "This new corporation is an exciting partnership between Saanich and Victoria. It will offer high-quality service to its clients with the aim to grow the client base across Vancouver Island."
Mayor Richard Atwell, District of Saanich, “Strategic partnerships like this allow the District of Saanich to work more closely with our regional partners in a cost-effective and efficient way, ensuring seamless service is provided to our respective communities. We are very excited to be working with the City of Victoria on this important initiative.”
Chief Paul Bruce, Victoria Fire Department, “With the need for a new fire station and investments required to upgrade the present dispatch operations, this partnership with Saanich is a practical long-term solution to address improved technologies and service efficiencies.”
Chief Mike Burgess, Saanich Fire Department, “This dispatch centre will use state-of-the-art dispatch and communication technology that complies with National Fire Protection Association standards - a first for the Region. Moving to one integrated dispatch centre means that callers will receive a higher level of service, which is something the Saanich Fire Department is very proud to support.”
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For More Information:
Rebecca Penz, Engagement Advisor
City of Victoria
Kelsie McLeod, Communications Manager
District of Saanich