NBPS Board accepts invitation to sit on 9-1-1 committee
In response to a letter by City Council received last week inviting the North Bay Police Services Board to participate on a committee to discuss the City of North Bay’s 9-1-1 service and emergency tiered response, the Board accepts the invitation. The Board will announce who will be selected to represent them on the committee at its next open session meeting scheduled for 10 a.m. on Tuesday May 17th, 2016.
“All calls to 9-1-1 that originate from within the City of North Bay are directed to the North Bay 9-1-1 Communications Centre, which is located at the North Bay Police Service’s headquarters,” said Dennis O’Connor, Chair, North Bay Police Service Board. “We look forward to showcasing the excellent work of the 9-1-1 call-takers, who are all North Bay Police Service employees. We are also open to having an honest and transparent discussion with other committee members about 9-1-1 and its future, and are committed to working together to provide the most effective and efficient service delivery possible for our community.”
The facts about 9-1-1
9-1-1 is an easy-to-remember universal three-digit number for people to use in an emergency. It is an answering point only to get you to the emergency service you need. Once the 9-1-1 call is directed to the appropriate emergency service (police, fire or ambulance), the call becomes the responsibility of the primary dispatch centre.
9-1-1 Service in North Bay
9-1-1 was first introduced in North Bay in 1991.
All 9-1-1 calls originating from within the City of North Bay are directed to the North Bay 9-1-1 Communications Centre, located at the North Bay Police Service at 135 Princess Street West. This is the only designated 9-1-1 primary answering point for the City of North Bay. All who work here are employees of the North Bay Police Service.
Emergency Service Dispatch Centres in North Bay
When you call 9-1-1 from within the City of North Bay service area, the NBPS 9-1-1 call-taker will direct your call to the appropriate emergency service dispatch centre for police, fire or ambulance.
- Police: NBPS 9-1-1 call-takers are cross-trained to answer 9-1-1 calls and process police calls for service. When you ask for police in the City of North Bay service area, the 9-1-1 call-taker will seamlessly assume the duties of police dispatcher and follow the procedures for a police response.
- Fire: NBPS 9-1-1 call-takers are cross-trained to answer 9-1-1 calls and process fire calls for service. When you ask for fire in the City of North Bay service area, the 9-1-1 call-taker will seamlessly assume the duties of fire dispatcherand follow the procedures for a fire response.
- Ambulance: 9-1-1 calls for ambulance in the City of North Bay service area are immediately transferred to the North Bay Central Ambulance Communication Centre located on Ferris Drive in North Bay. Ambulance dispatchers of thissecondary answering point are employees of the North Bay Regional Health Centre and are funded by Ontario’s Ministry of Health.
A “tiered response” is when police, fire and ambulance are dispatched to an emergency.
The 9-1-1 Protocol Agreement, which was signed in 2003 by the North Bay Police Service, the North Bay Fire and Emergency Service, the EMS District of Nipissing, the North Bay Central Ambulance Communication Centre and the OPP North East Region, includes a tiered response clause that requires 9-1-1 call-takers to notify police, fire and ambulance of the following emergencies:
- Motor vehicle collision with injuries;
- Aircraft in distress;
- Bomb threats;
- Ice water rescue;
- Multiple casualties; and
Any additional assistance required at any emergency not mentioned above is at the discretion of each individual emergency service (police, fire, ambulance), based on their own policies, procedures and inter-agency agreements, not the 9-1-1 Protocol Agreement.
9-1-1 pocket dials, hang ups, or no response
All 9-1-1 calls are taken seriously. If a person mistakenly calls 9-1-1 and then hangs up, the NBPS 9-1-1 call-taker must establish contact with the caller to ensure his/her safety. If there is no response, as per the 9-1-1 Protocol Agreement, police will be notified.
Next Generation 9-1-1
In 2015, North Bay’s 9-1-1 Communications Centre (located at North Bay Police Service headquarters) was upgraded to the new Bell 9-1-1 IP network, known as Next Generation 9-1-1. This system offers:
- Text with 9-1-1 for deaf, hard of hearing and speech impaired community members who have registered their mobile phones with their mobile phone service provider;
- Automatic in-call location update, which provides updated latitude and longitude coordinates on in-progress mobile calls every 35 seconds; and
- A future where texts, digital photos and real time video could be sent to the 9-1-1 call-taker.
9-1-1 calls from mobile phones
Cell towers located within the City of North Bay are all programmed to direct 9-1-1 calls to the North Bay 9-1-1 Communications Centre. With the use of mobile devices on the rise, telecommunications companies responsible for providing 9-1-1 services are continually looking at ways of improving efficiencies and accuracies.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone services offer a different 9-1-1 emergency service than traditional telephone 9-1-1 services. With a VoIP phone service, the 9-1-1 call is forwarded to a third-party service provider that will automatically or manually route your call to the emergency response centre.
Visit http://crtc.gc.ca/eng/phone/9-1-1/voip.htm for more information about VoIP 9-1-1 services.