/
/
/
/
/
British Columbians need a fully funded 9-1-1 service now: CUPE 8911

British Columbians need a fully funded 9-1-1 service now: CUPE 8911

VANCOUVER—The COVID-19 pandemic and recent extreme weather events have highlighted more than ever the need for properly staffed, fully funded 9-1-1 emergency call taking and dispatch services in British Columbia. That’s the public message of the Emergency Communications Professionals of BC (CUPE 8911) for this year’s Emergency Service Dispatchers and 9-1-1 Awareness Week (April 10-16).

“When you call 9-1-1, seconds count,” says CUPE 8911 President Donald Grant. “Lives are on the line, so you can’t afford to be put on hold for several minutes or left waiting too long for emergency services to arrive because there aren’t enough staff at E-Comm to answer all of the incoming calls.”

For this year’s Awareness Week, CUPE 8911 has launched its Seconds Count campaign, with transit shelter and billboard ads located throughout Metro Vancouver and in the Capital Regional District. Over the past several months, the union has shared the message with municipal agencies and other stakeholders that fund E-Comm: B.C.’s 9-1-1 service is unsustainably short-staffed and underfunded, and must be “right-sized” immediately to run properly and reverse a recruitment and retention crisis.

Recent member surveys only confirm what we already knew from last year’s Price Waterhouse Coopers report, commissioned by E-Comm, which identified critical staff shortages as a major problem,” says Grant. “Burnout and mental health challenges make it hard for our members to face every shift knowing they’ll have to skip bathroom breaks, take back-to-back calls without any recovery time, and work overtime to compensate for dangerously low staffing.”

CUPE 8911 has more than 600 members in B.C., including approximately 90 support staff. Their call takers and dispatchers, who respond to more than 5,000 emergency calls every day, are the first point of contact for 99 per cent of callers who dial 9-1-1 in B.C. E-Comm is the provider of call-taking and dispatch services for 33 police agencies and 40 fire departments across the province.

For more information, visit https://www.ecpbc.ca.

Share this
Share on facebook
Share on twitter

British Columbians need a fully funded 9-1-1 service now: CUPE 8911 News

CUPE members demonstrate how Education Assistants can help create thousands of new childcare spaces across BC

CUPE members demonstrate how Education Assistants can help create thousands of new childcare spaces across BC

May 20, 2022
COBBLE HILL – Arlene and Leanne are Education Assistants (EAs) in Cobble Hill, a small community in the Cowichan Valley. Together they staff the first before- and after-school program operated…
COBBLE HILL – Arlene and Leanne are Education Assistants (EAs) in Cobble Hill, a small community in the Cowichan Valley. Together they staff the first before- and after-school program operated...

Health Care presidents reissue call for more sector support

Health Care presidents reissue call for more sector support

May 19, 2022
BURNABY—The community health sector continues to suffer from systemic challenges arising from staffing shortages, workload, and mental health issues and needs more support in these areas, CUPE’s Health Care Presidents…
BURNABY—The community health sector continues to suffer from systemic challenges arising from staffing shortages, workload, and mental health issues and needs more support in these areas, CUPE’s Health Care Presidents...

Richmond school district budget must prioritize vital services for students

Richmond school district budget must prioritize vital services for students

May 18, 2022
RICHMOND– Protecting vital services students and families depend on in the Richmond School District must be the priority in tackling budget shortfalls, says the union representing Richmond public school workers….
RICHMOND– Protecting vital services students and families depend on in the Richmond School District must be the priority in tackling budget shortfalls, says the union representing Richmond public school workers....