Michael Van Dop, chief of Maple Ridge Fire Rescue. (Special to The News)

Michael Van Dop, chief of Maple Ridge Fire Rescue. (Special to The News)

Maple Ridge firefighters have new emergency communications system

Fire department joins E-Comm – the province’s largest emergency radio network

Maple Ridge Fire Rescue has joined the majority of Lower Mainland firefighters in a vast communications network.

Firefighters here are now communicating on the E-Comm Wide-Area Radio Network – the largest emergency radio network in B.C.

Maple Ridge Fire Rescue officially cut over to the radio network at 10 a.m. on June 28, meaning firefighters in the community are now able to seamlessly communicate with other emergency service agencies including Ridge Meadows RCMP and BC Ambulance Service.

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“Radios are a lifeline for first responders,” said Michael Van Dop, Chief of Maple Ridge Fire Rescue. “Joining the E-Comm radio network gives us access to the best equipment and clear and reliable radio channels. This transition will have a tremendous impact on how firefighters do their jobs and their ability to keep themselves and the community safe.”

Van Dop called it “a great day for public safety for the City of Maple Ridge.”

E-Comm’s radio network provides Maple Ridge firefighters with stronger and wider radio coverage, greater clarity, improved reliability and enhanced security features through an earthquake-resistant infrastructure. The fully encrypted P25 network also better protects the privacy of the public, as first responders often need to communicate necessary personal and private information over the radio.

“This latest move expands E-Comm’s public safety partnership with Maple Ridge,” said Oliver Grüter-Andrew, E-Comm president and CEO. “We already provide 9-1-1 call answer and police dispatch services to the community, and are pleased to welcome Maple Ridge Fire and Rescue to the radio network.”

Spanning from Lions Bay to Abbotsford, more than 40 police, fire, ambulance and municipal agencies are using the E-Comm Wide-Area Radio Network. The network has about 13,000 active or available radios. In 2021, radio system users made nearly 54 million transmissions on the network. E-Comm is based in Vancouver, and other member cities include Abbotsford, the Tri-Cities, Delta, Pitt Meadows, Richmond, Surrey, New Westminster and more.

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