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Pitt Meadows Fire and Rescue now on E-Comm

Fire department made the switch at 8:15 a.m. Sept. 14
Pitt Meadows Fire Chief Mike Larsson said E-Comm is a much needed communications system. (Special to The News)

Pitt Meadows Fire and Rescue Services has made the switch to the largest multi-jurisdictional radio network in the province.

As of 8:15 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 14, the local fire department officially changed over to the E-Comm Wide-Area Radio Network that will now allow firefighters to communicate more effortlessly with other emergency service agencies like the Ridge Meadows RCMP and BC Ambulance Service.

E-Comm is the first point of contact for 9-1-1 callers.

“This much-needed new and improved communications system will allow us to talk directly and seamlessly with other first responders, which will be particularly beneficial when responding to multi-agency calls like motor vehicle crashes and large-scale incidents in difficult to access areas such as Pitt Lake,” said Pitt Meadows Fire Chief Mike Larsson.

“Not only will our firefighters have state-of-the-art radio communications, but it will help facilitate faster emergency response for the residents of Pitt Meadows,” Larsson added.

E-Comm’s radio network is expected to provide Pitt Meadows firefighters with stronger and wider radio coverage, greater clarity, improved reliability and enhanced security features through an earthquake-resistant infrastructure.

The network is fully encrypted to prevent information from being broadcast on other radios. According to E-Comm this is to protect the privacy of the public, as first responders often need to communicate necessary personal and private information over the radio.

“Joining the E-Comm radio system is a critical part of keeping our first responders and the public safe in an emergency,” said City of Pitt Meadows Mayor Bill Dingwall.

READ MORE: E-Comm releases worst 911 calls of 2020

“Being able to have our first responders access and share information with each other, as quickly and efficiently as possible, will allow for better response that meets the safety needs of our community,” he noted.

Currently BC Emergency Health Services within Metro Vancouver and Abbotsford, all police agencies across Metro Vancouver and Abbotsford and 17 fire departments in Metro Vancouver use E-Comm to communicate with one another.

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E-Comm is used in 25 regional districts in British Columbia and provides dispatch services for more than 70 police agencies and fire departments in the province.

In 2020, firefighters, police officers, paramedics and municipal users made approximately 53.7 million transmissions on the network.

The network has about 10,000 active or available radios.

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Colleen Flanagan

About the Author: Colleen Flanagan

I got my start with Black Press Media in 2003 as a photojournalist.
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