(Black Press file photo).

(Black Press file photo).

Red Deer is getting a new next-generation 911 emergency system

Red Deer is getting a new emergency phone system, compliant with Next Generation 911 requirements.

On Feb. 14, city council approved allocating a $1.9 million provincial grant towards this purpose.

City council was told the new phone system would be able to triangulate calls, even texts, from cell phones to determine the caller’s location to send an ambulance there.

“The users of the service will find it’s enhanced,” said Red Deer’s interim city manager, Tara Lodewyk.

Council was told Next Generation 911 will replace the existing 30-plus year old 911 network.

The new network will be more linked to the internet. As a result, a variety of internet-connected devices will be able to access emergency services through connected Public Safety Answering Points. These changes are mandated and regulated by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

At Red Deer’s Emergency Communications Centre, desk phones will be replaced with “softphone applications.”

Members of the public will be able to contact 911 via real-time text by April 2024 when more detailed location information will be available to support emergency response.

The former emergency phone system will be decommissioned by March 2025.

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