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911 will improve with proposals: Police chief - Metro US

911 will improve with proposals: Police chief

Calgary’s top cop believes the city’s 911 system is on the right track after an independent review was released Thursday.

Police Chief Rick Hanson called for the review last year before two highly publicized incidents caused concern for the city’s emergency dispatch services, and he said the recommendations will lead to a better service.

“We have had growing pains, we’ve identified what those growing pains are, and now it’s time to treat the symptoms and fix the problem,” Hanson told reporters.

While the eight-month review revealed 82 per cent of citizens rated the service as good or excellent, it also pointed out several areas for improvement, but Hanson pointed out key recommendations were already put into place and more are on the way.

Areas for improvement highlighted included finding ways to reduce repetition of information, ways to adjust to peak call times and ways to reduce wait times for 911 calls, according to Public Safety communications manager Steve Dongworth.

“We know we can do better and we’re going to do it. This is where we have to step up to the plate,” Dongworth said.

“We are taking the right steps operationally. However, we need to translate those steps into service improvements that matter to our emergency responders.”

Hanson said the real test will be the next time a “low-frequency, high-risk” call comes in.
“The only test is the next time it happens,” Hanson said.

The city took over the services in 2006, amalgamating fire, police and EMS.

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