After years of intensive consultation with centres, leaders, network providers, and vendors within the 911 community, Alberta is getting new provincial standards for 911 service.

The current 911 system is led at the local level, and although the services will continue to be delivered on a local level, these standards will create a more consistent approach.

The new procedures include things like establishing an agreed upon terminology, setting performance targets for answering calls, requiring centres to have a quality assurance plan, and mandating that centres have a backup plan to ensure 24/7 service continuity in the event of an outage or disruption.

Assistant Deputy Chief of Alberta 911 Association, Cindy Sparrow, says 911 will also be getting a technology upgrade, enabling people to text or use video rather than making a phone call.

"Often times people can be in situations where they're not free to speak. Someone might be assaulting them and they could be in a dangerous situation where a call could give away their position, which could lead to them suffering consequences, so for those situations it can be easier to text 911."

The text and video program is part of a nationwide effort.

 

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