Plans are proceeding for the opening of the 911 Public Safety Answering Point Service Office at Corner Brook City Hall in January 2015. The establishment of a province-wide 911 Centre is a new initiative in Newfoundland and Labrador being spearheaded by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Since being designated as a 911 PSAP site on August 28, 2014 our officials have been working very closely with officials of the 911 Implementation Project Team in making sure that Corner Brook is fully equipped and ready to commence operations.
The province-wide 911 service has garnered significant attention since announced in August. In September, Council awarded the tender for fit-up of the NL 911 Bureau on the ground floor of City Hall to Whitestone Developments Inc. Work is progressing quickly on this project. Once operational, the center will be a 24/7, 365 day operation with two employees assigned per shift.
In total the Center will create twelve new jobs: a supervisor, eight full-time employees and three relief operators. A public job competition was advertised for the positions earlier this fall and we hope to have the hiring process concluded in the next few weeks. We will be working with the 911 Implementation Project Team in ensuring the successful candidates meet all the requirements of the position. The 911 operators will be unionized employees with the Canadian Union of Public Employees.
Given the particular skill set required for these positions we determined the jobs best-suited members of CUPE Local 768 (Inside Workers). The responsibility of the 911 operators include answering and evaluating 911 emergency and non-emergency calls for the law enforcement agencies (RNC and RCMP), Fire Departments, and health services; determining which emergency service is needed and relaying the call to the appropriate emergency service provider for the caller’s area.
In accordance with Article 29 of the Collective Agreement with CUPE Local 768, Council was obligated to consult with CUPE on the establishment of any new positions at the NL911 Bureau to determine their suitability as members of Local 768. After consulting with officials from Local 768 both sides quickly reached an agreement to have the 911 operators become members of the inside workers union.
Implementation of the province-wide basic 911 service will also result in operational changes for our City and region as it pertains to responding to emergencies.
Previously, the RNC provided 911 services to communities in the Corner Brook/Humber Valley/Bay of Islands region. With the establishment of a PSAP in Corner Brook, communities that previously received fire dispatch services from the RNC will no longer receive this dispatch service.
To help alleviate the concerns of neighbouring community, Council agreed to provide fire dispatch services to area fire departments currently served by the RNC for a fee of $2500/year for up to 50 calls For those communities that receive in excess of fifty (50) calls there will be a fee of $25.00 per call. It is up to the individual communities to determine if they wish to avail of the fire dispatch service. All communities in the Bay of Islands / Humber Valley region with the exception of Pasadena and Corner Brook normally receive less than 50 calls per year.
As both police services (RNC/RCMP) and health services have their own dispatch services this change only affects fire services. Until the 911 PSAP is fully operational we do not anticipate transferring the Corner Brook Fire Department dispatch to the 911 PSAP. It may take several months before this change will take place.
The City of Corner Brook is very excited to be playing a major role in the expansion of the 911 service in the province and we are looking forward to the launch of this new service.
Facts on 911 service:
– Commencing January 2015, the City of Corner Brook will be the primary service answering point for emergency calls from Goobies West and Labrador.
– The 911 Center will be situated at Corner Brook City Hall.
– The center is expected to receive approximately 50,000 calls per year.
– The Center will employ 8 full-time employees, three relief operators and a 911 Supervisor.
-The 911 Center will provide 24/7 service, 365 days a year