Nova Scotia 911 Service Gets New Technology

June 20, 2012

Nova Scotia's 911 system received a $2-million technology and equipment upgrade on June 19. The 911 fund, supported by a 43-cent contribution from Nova Scotians for each of their phone lines, paid for the upgrade.

The Nova Scotia 911 system operates 24 hours a day, year-round so the technology is replaced every five to six years to ensure reliability.

"The new system is even better than the outgoing system and has additional features like increased backup capacity, to ensure the system is always operating properly," said Paul Mason, director of emergency services at EMO. "It is one of the most sophisticated 911 systems in North America."

The new equipment will also make it easier to accommodate changes in cellphone technology. About half of all 911 calls are made from cellphones. In 2011, there were about 237,000 calls made to 911, an average of 650 a day.

Nova Scotia's 911 emergency program was launched in 1997, the first province-wide service in Canada. There are 180 call-takers who work at four independently operated 911 centers, in Halifax Regional Municipality, the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, Truro and Kentville.