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Calgary 9-1-1

"When most people think of
9-1-1, they think of the police, fire, EMS unit that responds. What they don’t realize is that, before those other emergency services get there, it’s you – the Emergency Communications Officer – who calms, reassures, gets information, gives instructions and dispatches those emergency services. You can and do make the difference between life and death."
Mayor Naheed Nenshi

Before the police, firefighters, or paramedics arrive, Calgary 9-1-1 emergency communications officers (ECOs) are there. As the 'first' of the first responders they serve as the critical link between citizens and the emergency help they require.

Calgary 9-1-1 receives, evaluates and dispatches 9-1-1 emergency and non-emergency calls for its internal stakeholder agencies which include Calgary Police Service and Calgary Fire Department. In addition, Calgary 9-1-1 is contracted as the satellite dispatch centre for call evaluation and dispatch for AHS EMS in Calgary and is the public safety answer point and fire call evaluation & dispatch centre for Rockyview County, M.D. of Bighorn and seven additional communities.

Calgary 9-1-1 answers more than one million emergency and non-emergency calls each year, making it one of the largest Public Safety Answering Points in Canada. For the past several years, we have experienced an increase in the number of 9-1-1 calls consistent with population growth within the area we serve.

Our Vision: To be the model of excellence in public safety communications in Canada.

Our Mission: To meet or exceed Canadian industry standards.

Our Mandate: Improving safety by co-ordinating emergency response and providing updates more quickly to emergency personnel on calls.

Core services: To provide constant and continuous:

  • emergency telephone call evaluation and dispatch;
  • non-emergency call evaluation and processing for our client agencies and citizens; and
  • communications support for front-line crews.

More facts about Calgary 9-1-1

  • Calgary 9-1-1 connects citizens with emergency services and has been a key resource for Calgarians since 2006.
  • We answer 9-1-1 calls from inside and outside Calgary and sometimes transfer them to other agencies.
  • Our operations workforce is divided into four teams. Emergency Communications Officers (ECOs) work 12-hour shifts in a "2 days-2 nights on - 4 days off" pattern. This means ECOs work many weekends and holidays and there are almost as many ECOs in the centre at 2 a.m. as there are at 8 a.m.
  • New Emergency Communication Officers receive 360 hours of initial training. Additional training sessions are held for operations staff on a regular basis throughout the year.
  • The average speed of answer for all 9-1-1 calls is six seconds.
  • Every year we survey citizens who have used our service. In 2016, 98 per cent of citizens contacted said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the service they received when calling the 9-1-1 emergency line.
  • In Calgary, accidental calls to 9-1-1 happen, on average, more than 300 times each day from cell phones kept in pockets, purses and backpacks. We remind everyone to free up our emergency lines by putting your cell phone on “standby” or storing it in a holster.