Kelowna Fire Dispatch Centre serves over 265,800 residents and approximately 3 million visitors annually encompassing an area in excess of 13,500 square kilometers, providing a variety of emergency and non-emergency public assistance and in the process creating over 24,000 incidents each year.
We answer all 911 fire-related and non-emergency calls for service in the Central and South Okanagan Similkameen. We also provide after-hours emergency call assistance for city utilities as well as safeguard civic lone workers. Additionally we monitor approximately 300 commercial and residential direct alarm systems.
Our Center also provides 24-hour service to 9 full-time fire halls and 30 paid-on-call halls from Lake Country to the U.S. border.
There are 8 dispatchers and 1 supervisor with a combined dispatch experience of over 85 years; many having worked in police/911 dispatching prior to making the switch to Fire. Some dispatchers’ experience also includes paid on-call fire fighting and ambulance paramedic work.
Dispatchers gather information, alert emergency responders and coordinate response efforts in order to provide the best service possible. Working closely with other community partners such as Forestry, Police, Ambulance, City and District Works crews, and Utility companies helps to ensure public safety.
Our Communication Systems includes six repeater sites strategically located throughout our area of responsibility. Interoperability between all emergency services is achieved by using a combined events channel for incidents where police, fire and ambulance are all attending, and responding units can give information about the incident to all other responders involved. Other communications assets at our disposal include simplex tactical channels, marine emergency channel, Forestry, and numerous other interagency command/control and simplex channels to get the job done.
Our Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system is a fully integrated, real-time mapping and data entry system that allows dispatchers to prioritize resource assignments quickly during emergency responses. As of May 2011 our centre activated a real-time interface with the BC Ambulance Service CAD which provides instantaneous requests for first response assistance, thereby reducing response time.