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Communication and 911

DispatchThe Infomatics and Communications Division supports emergency operations by receiving and dispatching calls for assistance, maintaining a communications network and providing detailed response information for responding fire companies.

911 service for central Vancouver Island is operated in Nanaimo. Enhanced 911 service is provided to report emergencies requiring police, fire and emergency medical service.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue operates FireComm, a fire dispatch and communications centre that dispatches 27 fire departments within the central island region. It has state of the art equipment and a radio infrastructure to provide communications.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue also uses advanced technology to provide responding firefighters with detailed response information. Fire engines have an on-board computer that is updated in real time from the computer-aided dispatch system at FireComm. The information includes street network maps and pre-incident plans of major risk buildings.

Response Information and Effectiveness

Technology is used to improve incident information and response effectiveness to emergency incidents.

The technology reduces response time, specifically the components of dispatch time and firefighter turnout time. Each Engine is now equipped with a laptop computer and FDM MobilCAD software linked through wireless networks into the Computer Aided Dispatch system (CAD). Dispatch Operator workload and human delay is reduced by enabling “voiceless” communications, providing incident response details (including geographic information system [GIS] transportation network and hydrant overlays and building ‘pre-incident plans') instantly to each responding engine when the incident is processed in CAD. The need to relay or re-enter information is eliminated. MobilCAD also gives unit-initiated updates, delivers critical incident messages and provides real-time transmission to dispatchers on engine status.

Further, the technology puts pre-incident planning information at the fingertips of the responding Officer. Response assistance maps, site plans and building layout information of major risk buildings is available as part of the Fire Officer's information package to manage an incident.

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