Kelowna Fire Department receives funds for mandated next-gen 911 system

Funds for new 911 system

The Kelowna Fire Department's move toward the federally-mandated next generation 911 dispatch system has received a financial boost.

The fire department has received $3 million through the Union of BC Municipalities to help offset the cost of implementing the system.

"Between now and March 2025 we will be required by the federal government to move to a better, more modern system of next generation 911 which allows voice, text and video to come into our dispatch centre and provide a higher level of service," Fire Chief Travis Whiting told city council Monday.

"We have received half of the funds so far and the rest will be directed as we work through the process over the next 18 months to implement."

Whiting says costs so far have been for consultants with some hard costs of software and hardware.

Once next-gen 911 is operational, callers will be able to provide live pictures and video to provide a clearer picture of what help is needed.

During a previous appearance before council, Whiting said the fire department is in a strong financial position within its 10-year capital plan to cover the internal costs needed to implement the system.

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