Mayor's Report - November 2011

City of Surrey Fire Services to Provide SVFD with
Computer Aided Dispatch & Records Management Services

Mayor Ralph Drew

On November 17th, 2011, the SVFD Board of Trustees approved entering into a contract with Surrey Fire Service for the provision of Emergency Call Taking, Call Tracking, Computer Aided Dispatch, Records Management System and communication services. This decision followed a cost comparison for the same package of services offered by E-COMM. The approved Surrey Fire Service Proposal included the following:

  • A service agreement with an initial cost of $5,000 per year, increasing to $5,300 at the end of a three-year contract;
  • Dispatch using Radio over Internet Protocol (RoIP) infrastructure and equipment at a onetime cost of $16,345; and
  • Training, mapping, data entry and implementation at a one-time cost of $5,000.

  • The Surrey Fire Service (SFS) operates a regional fire dispatch centre that serves the City of Surrey's 17 fire halls as well as 33 other fire departments for a total of 69 fire halls throughout British Columbia. Within Metro Vancouver, SFS provides dispatch services to 11 municipalities: White Rock, Langley City, Township of Langley, Port Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, City of North Vancouver, District of North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Bowen Island and Lions Bay. SFS represents the model of a regional fire dispatch centre through its use of advanced technology and operations system including Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) and Records Management System (RMS).

    In March 2010 the SVFD Board of Trustees was presented with a Communications Review prepared by Dave Mitchell and Associates. The scope of the Communication Review included fire department dispatch as well as dispatch technologies such as Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD), Records Management Systems (RMS) and Interoperable Regional Radio. The objective of the review was to conduct a complete evaluation of emergency communication issues for the SVFD and to make recommendations on all aspects including Emergency Call Taking and Computer Aided Dispatch, as well as consideration for technologies such as CAD, RMS and Regional Radio. The review considered these issues in terms of the relevant benchmark standards published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

    The findings of the Communications Review considered Emergency Call Taking and Computer Aided Dispatch a very high priority. The review also considered a Records Management System as a high priority.

    The above-noted decision has focused only on Emergency Call Taking and Computer Aided Dispatch as the first of three phases of implementation of the Communications Review priorities to minimize the learning curve during the technology transition.


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