PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 20

E-COMM:

A Model for Consolidated
Emergency Communications
and Public Safety Support

L

By Ryan Lawson

et's take a walk back in time. It's June 19, 1994. Canadians, specifically Vancouver residents, were celebrating one of their most
passionate pastimes - hockey. The Vancouver Canucks had faced
off against the New York Rangers in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup
Final. And when the game ended in a victory for the Rangers, so began an
hours-long riot the likes of which the city had never experienced before.

PSC | apcointl.org

Ultimately, more than 200 people were
injured and just shy of $2 million Canadian
in damage was done. During the riot, the
Vancouver Police Department (VPD) was
quickly overwhelmed with radio communications, and neighboring Royal Canadian
Mounted Police (RCMP) detachments that
were called in to assist Vancouver police
had no means to communicate with them
because all of the participating police agencies were on disparate, separate radio systems. Additionally, the British Columbia
Emergency Health Service (BCEHS) and the

20

Vancouver Fire & Rescue Service were on
separate, unique radio systems. Emergency
responders were literally standing 25 feet
from each other in the crowd, and yet they
could not communicate. During the postevent inquiry, the need for consolidated
interoperable radio communications and a
consolidated 9-1-1 PSAP was identified.
E-Comm (Emergency Communications
for British Columbia, Inc.) opened its doors
and phone lines in 1999 as the consolidated
PSAP for metro Vancouver and the surrounding area. Brought into being by provincial

legislation (Emergency Communications
Corporations Act, 1997), the idea for E-Comm
and a consolidated interoperable radio system was born directly out of that chaotic 1994
hockey riot five years earlier. Other prominent worldwide events, such as the earthquake in Kobe, Japan, in 1995, highlighted the
importance of coordinated communications
when disaster strikes.
Since it went live 18 years ago, the
E-Comm group of partner agencies and
scope of services has increased exponentially.
Initially starting with one police department
(VPD) on the radio system, PSAP service for
the Metro Vancouver area and police dispatch
for the Vancouver police, E-Comm has grown
to provide radio communications service for
every police agency in metro Vancouver and
neighboring city of Abbotsford, the BCEHS
and most fire departments. E-Comm's
PSAP service now covers 88 percent of
British Columbia, which has a population


http://www.apcointl.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PSC - May/June 2017 Issue

President’s Channel
On Scene
Public Safety Communications Systems: The Future Is Smart
Evolution of the PSAP
E-Comm: A Model for Consolidated Emergency Communications and Public Safety Support
The Dos and Don’ts of Designing Your Communications Center on a Budget
When Germs Attack – Help Your PSAP Fight Back
How a Scheduling System Can Save Your Sanity
Advances in Quality Assurance and Improvement Software
9-1-1, Show Us Your Emergency
High Performance CPR & CDE Exam
Managing Peers in the PSAP & CDE Exam
Direct Channel With APCO
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - Intro
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - cover1
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - cover2
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 3
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 4
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 5
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 6
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 7
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 8
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 9
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - President’s Channel
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - On Scene
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 12
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 13
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - Public Safety Communications Systems: The Future Is Smart
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 15
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - Evolution of the PSAP
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 17
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 18
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 19
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - E-Comm: A Model for Consolidated Emergency Communications and Public Safety Support
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 21
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - The Dos and Don’ts of Designing Your Communications Center on a Budget
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 23
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - When Germs Attack – Help Your PSAP Fight Back
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 25
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 26
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 27
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 28
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 29
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - How a Scheduling System Can Save Your Sanity
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 31
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - Advances in Quality Assurance and Improvement Software
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 33
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 34
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 35
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 9-1-1, Show Us Your Emergency
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 37
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 38
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 39
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - High Performance CPR & CDE Exam
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 41
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 42
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 43
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - Managing Peers in the PSAP & CDE Exam
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 45
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 46
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 47
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 48
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - 49
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - Direct Channel With APCO
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - cover3
PSC - May/June 2017 Issue - cover4
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