News Release Archive

Enhanced 911 takes effect in Halifax Regional Municipality on
July 7, completing provincewide implementation of the emergency

Residents of the former cities of Halifax and Dartmouth will be
able to obtain police, fire or medical emergency assistance by
dialing the three numbers instead of the previous 4103 and 4105.
Access to emergency services for residents of the former town of
Bedford remains unchanged; a basic form of 911 has been in place
there for several years.

Once the new service is operating, all 911 calls originating in
Halifax Regional Municipality will be answered at a new central
dispatch facility in Bedford. The originating telephone number,
the civic address where the telephone is located and the name of
the telephone subscriber will be displayed on a computer screen
as the call is answered.

Enhanced information display saves critical time because the
person answering the call need only determine the type of
emergency, confirm the address, and then route the caller to the
dispatcher at the appropriate emergency agency.

The 911 system computer will know which fire, police and
ambulance agency is needed, so routing the caller requires only a
push of a button rather than dialing a seven-digit number.

The effectiveness of the new 911 service depends on residents
posting their property's civic number clearly visible from the
road. The failure to do this is the most commonly voiced concern
of emergency workers.

A comprehensive quality-control program is at the heart of the
system. Measures include voice and electronic recording of all
911 calls, comprehensive staff training and alternate
call-routing scenarios to deal with call overflows. The emergency
response agencies will be continually involved in reviewing the
system's operation and recommending improvements.


Contact: Paul McEachern
         Communications director
         Department of the Environment

         Mike Myette
         Manager, 911 Program
         Department of the Environment

         John O'Brien
         Communications director
         Halifax Regional Municipality

trp                        May 30, 1997 - 8:45 a.m.