Province-wide 911 is a great idea
After many years of debate and research, it was finally announced last week that the provincial government will be expanding 911 emergency communications service throughout the entire province. It’s about time. By the end of 2014, anyone with a telephone will be able to summon emergency help by dialing 911. Also encouraging is the fact the province will work to implement a more advanced “Next Generation 911” further into the future, which keeps pace with the changing methods of communic a t i o n s a n d data transfer, including text messaging.
This should be welcome news to everyone, whether you are an emergency responder such as a volunteer firefighter, a homeowner or an ambulance attendant. It appears we are finally about to catch up to much of the rest of Canada and North America. We deserve nothing less.
This important service has proven itself to be effective at saving lives and protecting property. The provincial government should be commended for taking a methodical and attentive approach to this decision, and making the right call by hiring a reputable consulting firm to carry out a feasibility study.
Currently, about 40 per cent of the province is covered by a basic 911 service, with so-called public safety answering stations operated by the St. John’s Regional Fire Department, RNC and RCMP. The coverage area does not include the Trinity Conception region, though basic 911 is available throughout the province from mobile phones, as long as a cellular signal can be accessed.
In announcing the new system, it was stated that municipalities and others will have a role to play in implementing the system across the province.
We see two areas that will require improvement. First, home and business owners have to get more serious about placing civic numbers prominently on their properties. And secondly, co-ordination between neighbouring volunteer fire brigades will have to be improved to ensure prompt and efficient responses to emergencies.
We encourage all towns and emergencies responders in this region to get fully behind this worthwhile initiative.
We see two areas that
will require improvement. First, home and business owners have to get more serious about placing civic numbers prominently on their
— Terry Roberts