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West Vancouver Fire & Rescue joins E-Comm Wide-Area Radio System

West Vancouver, B.C. — West Vancouver Fire & Rescue is excited to announce that it has joined the E-Comm Wide-Area Radio System, effective immediately. By joining E-Comm, West Vancouver Fire & Rescue is now able to communicate far more effectively with both the City and District of North Vancouver Fire Departments, who already use E-Comm and with whom West Vancouver Fire & Rescue provides shared services on the North Shore.

“This is an important step in our ongoing commitment to shared services,” said District of West Vancouver Mayor, Michael Smith. “E-Comm provides a highly efficient communications system that closes the gap between West Vancouver firefighters and other North Shore emergency responders.”

In addition to improving communication with partners on the North Shore, West Vancouver Fire & Rescue can now communicate seamlessly with the 10 other fire agencies in the Lower Mainland already using E-Comm’s radio system, as well as with the 18 regional police departments on the system, the BC Ambulance Service and the Coast Guard.

“Our communications capabilities have been significantly enhanced,” said West Vancouver Fire & Rescue Chief, Jim Cook. “The transition to E-Comm achieves our longstanding goal of interoperability with other public safety agencies on the North Shore, including our neighbouring fire departments. We are providing a safer working environment for our firefighters and enhanced disaster response capabilities for the community.”

The old VHF radio system, which was nearing the end of its lifecycle, did not allow West Vancouver fire crews to communicate with other emergency services directly. Other safety issues with the old system included inaudible transmissions and a growing number of dead reception zones both in and outside of West Vancouver.  The E-Comm radio network provides better coverage, greater clarity and improved reliability through an earthquake-resistant infrastructure. E-Comm radio has been tested throughout West Vancouver, including the dead zones with the old system, with good coverage in all areas.

“Effective communication is critical in our ability to respond to emergencies across the North Shore,” said District of North Vancouver Fire Chief, Vic Penman. “Sharing the E-Comm Radio System strengthens our multi-jurisdictional response time and effectiveness.”

“This is a positive initiative that will provide enhanced public safety service to residents and businesses in each of our communities,” said City of North Vancouver Acting Fire Chief, Dan Pistilli.  “The North Vancouver City Fire Department is pleased with the addition of West Vancouver to the E-Comm network, a move that will make communication between all three North Shore fire departments even more efficient.”

The new radio user equipment includes 46 new portable radios, 10 mobile units and four base stations. All West Vancouver Fire & Rescue staff will receive training on the new system, the infrastructure costs of which are shared among the other municipalities on E-Comm’s radio network.

“Firefighters in West Vancouver are dedicated to public safety, and E-Comm is committed to providing them with the clear, reliable and broad radio coverage they need to do their jobs,” said E-Comm President and CEO, David Guscott. “We’re proud to be partnering with West Vancouver Fire & Rescue to create a safer community, which is the vision we have for every area we serve.”

For more information on the E-Comm Wide-Area Radio System, please visit ecomm911.ca or give West Vancouver Fire & Rescue a call at 604-925-7370.

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About the E-Comm Radio system
E-Comm 9-1-1 is the regional emergency communications centre for southwest British Columbia. The E-Comm Wide-Area Radio Network is a shared communications system used throughout Metro Vancouver by police, fire and ambulance personnel. The E-Comm radio network provides better coverage, greater clarity and improved reliability through an earthquake-resistant infrastructure and enhanced voice security.

About the District of West Vancouver
The District of West Vancouver is the local government led by Mayor Michael Smith and Council. Home to more than 44,000 residents, West Vancouver is a local government which strives to “inspire excellence and lead by example”. Our Vision and Mission guide us to pursue our treasured quality of life and will be the measure of our success as a community. West Vancouver is a community built on innovation, a strong spirit of personal civic commitment and a deep value for relationships.

Media Contacts
Donna Powers Acting Director of Communications
c: 604-219-4806 | d: 604-925-7168 | e: dpowers@westvancouver.ca

Jody Robertson
Director of Corporate Communications, E-Comm
p: 604-640-1342 | d: 604-215-4956 | e: jody.robertson@ecomm911.ca