Today marks 22 years of helping to save lives and protect property in British Columbia.
Before E-Comm came to be, first responders operated on their own independent radio systems – which meant that police, fire and ambulance personnel were not able to communicate with one another. When the Stanley Cup riots broke out in Vancouver in 1994, the Vancouver Police were forced to request back up from neighbouring RCMP detachments and other first responders. Police, paramedics, and firefighters found themselves in danger when they could not communicate with one another to help diffuse the crowds because their radios were not compatible. During this time, it became very clear that a new, consolidated system was needed. E-Comm was born to be the owner and operator of this new radio system, now the largest multi-jurisdictional, tri-service emergency radio system in British Columbia, and it was decided the organization would begin 9-1-1 call answer and dispatch as well. On June 8, 1999, E-Comm 9-1-1 officially opened its doors, answering the very first 9-1-1 call for the Vancouver Police at the brand new emergency communications centre.
Over two decades later, E-Comm has grown to a team of more than 700 public safety communications professionals across four locations. We serve as the first point of contact for 9-1-1 callers in 25 regional districts and provide dispatch services for 73 police and fire agencies, handling more than 1.8 million 9-1-1 calls a year.
E-Comm plays an integral role in helping save lives and protect property in British Columbia. While we have evolved over the last 22 years, one thing remains the same: our passion for public safety. We extend a big thank you to all of our past and present partners, board members, stakeholders and every employee at E-Comm that plays an integral role in keeping our communities safe.
Have you made a call to 9-1-1 before? Canadians are likely to call 9-1-1 at least twice in their lifetime. Whether you have been impacted by an emergency, or you want to recognize the behind-the-scenes heroes who keep our community safe, you can thank an E-Comm staff member below.