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BRFA Chief talks Next Generation 911

Bonnyville town council got a little look into what the future of 911 operations in the town will look like. Bonnyville Regional Fire Authority Chief Jay Melvin was at the council meeting Tuesday to update town officials on Next Generation 911.

The new system is due to take over on June 30th, 2023. Melvin says that gives time for the town to begin lobbying for provincial and federal support to pay for the changes.

“If we are not ready by that date, and not able to handle that technology, we will not receive any 911 calls.”

Next Generation 911 will use state-of-the-art technology to enhance how an emergency call is handled. Melvin says the new features that it provides may help people on the scene of an emergency situation.

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“Not only does it have realtime text, but you’ll also be able to send pictures and video. So if there’s a picture of something happening, or it’s an accident scene and you need a video or even if you need to be instructed on how to do CPR; You’ll have a video back-and-forth with the 911 operator to provide that service to the public.”

Bonnyville is one of 20 911 dispatch locations across the country required to make the change. It covers the town as well as the County of St. Paul, County of Smoky Lake, Cold Lake First Nations and Fishing Lake Métis Settlement.

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