News release

911 Agreements Promote Public Safety

Four organizations will sign agreements with the province today, Feb. 14, to continue vital 911 communications centre services across Nova Scotia.

The RCMP (Truro), Valley Communications Inc.(Kentville), Halifax Regional Municipality and Cape Breton Regional Municipality will extend their services, for a total provincial investment of about $840,000 per year. That helps cover salaries for the 170 people who are trained to staff 21 positions, as well as operating costs at the four locations in Halifax, Sydney, Truro and Kentville.

"Nova Scotians can take comfort that our nationally recognized emergency 911 system has moved into the 21st century," said Carolyn Bolivar-Getson, Minister of Emergency Management.

"These agreements ensure that competent, qualified staff get the training and technology to serve the public around the clock. I want to thank each of our 911 partners for working with us to save lives, prevent injuries and protect property from damage."

The most recent statistics show that more than 170,000, 911 calls were made last year. Increasingly, more calls are being made on cellular phones.

"We are keeping pace with technology," added Ms. Bolivar-Getson. "These organizations already have communication centres and skilled staff in place, so it's a tremendous benefit to provincial taxpayers to be able to continue these agreements."

The province recently completed a $2.5-million technology upgrade for 911. One of the most important improvements is the move to digital mapping, which helps call takers pinpoint the exact location of a call for help, and leads emergency responders there as quickly as possible.

Nova Scotians support the 911 service by investing 43 cents a month. The amount is included on monthly land line and cellular phone bills.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

The province signed agreements today (February 14th) with four communications centres that handle emergency 9-1-1 calls around the province.

The agreements are with the R-C-M-P in Truro, Valley Communications in Kentville, Halifax Regional Municipality and Cape Breton Regional Municipality.

Emergency Management Minister Carolyn Bolivar-Getson says those centres handle about 170-thousand emergency 9-1-1 calls a year.

She says the agreements ensure that standards are met, and that call-takers are available around the clock.

Nova Scotia was the first province in Canada to have complete 9-1-1 coverage.

-30-

Media Contact:

Richard Perry
Emergency Management Office 902-424-0284 E-mail: