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Next-generation 911 call centre coming next month

Photo Credit: BVI News

The British Virgin Islands is rolling out state-of-the-art, next-generation 9-1-1 technology for its new emergency call centre which will become operational early next month.

The emergency call centre is located inside the Peebles Hospital in Road Town and will be operated by the three main emergency service providers – police, fire officers, and health service workers.

The centre will be fitted with a system which instantly displays the GPS location of any caller, as well as other useful information for the emergency call operator to see.

“The [operator’s computer] screen will populate with that information so we don’t have to ask ‘where are you?’ or ask for directions. It will show where you are in the territory. So, if you say Long Bay, we’ll know whether it’s East End or West End,” explained Russell Jones, Project Manager for the Next-generation 9-1-1 initiative.

Project Manager of Next-generation 911 project.

“We will then transfer that information to the ambulance or the guys in the field either on their phone or on their tablet. The tablets, of course, will be mounted in the vehicles so they’ll get that information,” Jones added.

The next-generation 9-1-1 system was an initiative spearheaded by Health Minister, Ronnie Skelton.

BVI leading

According to Jones, who also credited other project managers such as Tasha Bertie, the territory’s new 9-1-1 technology surpasses most states in the US, which is widely described as a leader in the technology industry.

“The Honourable Ronnie Skelton determined that he wanted the latest technology that’s not going to go out of style inside a year,” Jones told BVI News.

Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Petrona Davies announced yesterday that the new 9-1-1 system will officially come online February 1.

Prior to the introduction of this call technology in the BVI, persons who dialled ‘911’ locally would have been connected to an unsophisticated phone line at the fire station in Road Town.

Copyright 2018 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

12 Comments

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  1. Watcher says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    Kudos.

  2. Velour Track Pants says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

    Hope it is truly not going to be out-dated and obsolete within a couple years and that the software provider is sound and regularly updates this vital service. Additionally, will the info. based on the call be co-ordinated with Police and Fire Dept.? What provisions are in-place to power this system in the event of another catastrophic event? Is there one or more redundant power sources installed? Great to see we are moving forward – hope the internet system is stable also when they need to send data out to EMT’s etc.

  3. Authur says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    I’m going to jump ahead of the comments screaming “Cell phone tracking by the government!” and point out that the vast majority of us are already giving our exact location every second to Facebook, Google, Apple etc. Emergency services will request your GPS location from the cell phone company’s automated system only AFTER you called for help. That’s how it should work anyway… Would be wise to keep an eye on the fine print to ensure that this is implemented correctly.

    Cell phone companies can already pinpoint your location once your phone is on and connected to their cell towers. They just need a court issued warrant. Those same laws should apply for this new 911 tracking system to be used outside of an emergency that you call in.

    • Save lives says:

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

      In an island with no addresses, locating a person in distress that is incapable of giving directions or is a tourist unfamiliar with the area or at sea, this is an invaluable feature that we are glad to see in the BVI.

    • Save lives says:

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      Tracking cannot be used outside of a 911 call. Just as any phone right out of the box not associated with any cell company yet, by international law, must be able to connect to 911.

  4. GREAT! says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    Now get ALL government offices connected to one central system with different access levels based on type of information to be accessed. It’s time to get rid of all the paper and useless jumping around when trying to do business with Government. All departments should be able to access personal information and process things quicker. How is it so easy for all private doctors to access NHI to see if you’re in good standing or not but government can’t connect to their own offices? It’s shameful! You apply for certain things and you have to physically visit 10 departments with the same piece of paper and if one department loses it then your process is halted. It’s 2018!

    • Watcher says:

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Ha. Best of luck with that. You cant even pay utility bills or taxes on line or even by bank transfer. Thats mostly because a lot of the none jobs and sinecures in government departments would have to go if you could.

  5. BVI Airways Pilot says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

    Let we see how long it going to work. Maintenance and overspending the number one problem and as usual the ndp government like to fool off people with flashy things. Always an expensive gimmick failure.

  6. Interested says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

    Well done.Please let us be positive and stop criticizing everything that the Gov is trying to do.

  7. Yes says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    A 911 calling center IS what the BVI i needs. So glad.

  8. Local says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Sounds good on paper..like everything else the infrastructure not there

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