Central Island 911
Telus provides enhanced 911 service within BC and the central Vancouver Island region is serviced by an Enhanced 911 Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). 911 and fire dispatch services are provided to partner organizations; Cowichan Valley Regional District, Regional District of Nanaimo and City of Nanaimo. Nanaimo Fire Rescue Department is responsible for the administration of CI 911 PSAP service and operation of the fire dispatch centre known as FireComm.
When you call 911 from your home, your address and telephone number are automatically displayed to the call taker. Enhanced 911 features automatic number identification (ANI) and automatic location identification (ALI) based on a database managed by Telus. As of February 2010 newer cellular phones are now providing an approximate location by either using the built-in GPS or the process of triangulation of cellular towers. CI 911 FireComm is able to receive the approximate GPS coordinates from most cellular phones. It is still a good idea to give the speciifc address of the emergency. If this is not be possible you will need to provide the community you are in and landmarks or other reference points to establish where the emergency is. This is extremely important as various communities have streets with the same name. Delays for assistance will occur if appropriate references are not provided. If your telephone service is provided by a Voice Over Internet Provider (VOIP), your call for emergency assistance will likely arrive at a business call centre in a major city. In some cases, the call has been forwarded to their 911 centre. This could be Toronto as an example. Ensure your provider subscribes and gives you access to the Telus 911 service with ANI and ALI features. Note: Shaw provides this service locally. If you need to call 911 to report an emergency, be prepared, the call taker will ask you the nature of emergency and what service you require, and transfer your call to the appropriate dispatch centre. The agency dispatch centre will ask a number of questions related to location and the nature of emergency.
Reduce False Calls
Be aware that if you inadvertently call 911 the operator will confirm if an emergency is present. Often a connection is made and all the operator hears is background noise. These must be checked out to confirm a problem exists. Avoid programming 911 in your automatic dialing system as many unintentional calls are made this way. Your accidental calls take emergency personnel away from actual emergencies and could delay response to bona fide emergencies.
There are two different charges for 911 service. To cover operational costs of 911 Public Safety Answering Point, a call answer levy of 47 cents is charged for every phone line within the central island. In addition, Telus places an ‘access fee' for 911 service on your monthly phone bill.