Captain Doug Cadigan says there’s no question St. John’s Regional Fire Department is the expert on operating the 911 system.
He says they have 40 years experience operating the system, a fully-functional NFPA compliant 911 centre at the Central Fire Station, and a redundant 911 system in Mount Pearl with backup power.
Some fears have been raised that what government is proposing is a downgrade of the service to nothing more than a call centre.
Cadigan says St. John’s Regional does much more than just answer and relay calls.
He says they recently received a call about a possible vehicle fire on Kenmount Road, but the caller had a thick foreign accent and wasn’t familiar with the city. The dispatcher managed to get the necessary information by asking him what he could see around him and figure out where he was.
Caddigan says rather than ‘reinventing the wheel’ government would be better to concentrate on bringing the rest of the province online.