A new jointly-owned regional fire dispatch corporation has been agreed to in principle by Victoria and District of Saanich.
The Vancouver Island Emergency Dispatch Corporation will provide fire dispatch to the two municipalities.
The anticipated start date is January 2019 and is described as a cost-effective and efficient service to the community.
“This new corporation is an exciting partnership between Saanich and Victoria,” Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps said.
“It will offer high-quality service to its clients with the aim to grow the client base across Vancouver Island.”
“Strategic partnerships like this allow the District of Saanich to work more closely with our regional partners in a cost-effective and efficient way, ensuring seamless service is provided to our respective communities,” said Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell.
Saanich is home to the only fire dispatch centre on Vancouver Island to use E-Comm computer-aided service.
E-Comm is the largest emergency communications centre in B.C. and utilizes a system that allows for swift and easy access to information critical to emergency response.
Saanich currently provides fire dispatch to seven other municipalities in the Capital Region: Oak Bay, Esquimalt, View Royal, Colwood, Central Saanich, North Saanich and Sidney.
“With the need for a new fire station and investments required to upgrade the present dispatch operations, this partnership with Saanich is a practical long-term solution to address improved technologies and service efficiencies,” Victoria Fire Department Chief Paul Bruce said.
Saanich Fire Department Chief Mike Burgess added, “This dispatch centre will use state-of-the-art dispatch and communication technology that complies with National Fire Protection Association standards – a first for the Region.”
“Moving to one integrated dispatch centre means that callers will receive a higher level of service, which is something the Saanich Fire Department is very proud to support.”
Although the dispatch centre is located in Saanich, firefighters will continue to respond to calls in their own jurisdictions.