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Emergency Communications
9-1-1

9-1-1 is for police, fire or medical emergencies when immediate action is required: someone’s health, safety or property is in jeopardy or a crime is in progress. Please use 9-1-1 responsibly. Our call takers can’t provide information on the weather, power outages or municipal services.

9-1-1 Services are delivered by E-Comm, the largest provider of 911 services in the Province of British Columbia. The 9-1-1 contract is managed by the Central Island 911 Partnership, a service delivery partnership between the Cowichan Valley Regional District, the City of Nanaimo and the Regional District of Nanaimo.

Next Generation 9-1-1

The CRTC has mandated that 9-1-1 services transition to “Next Generation 9-1-1” by March 4, 2025. Next Generation 9-1-1 will replace decades old technology with modern standards and equipment; immediately increasing the reliability and capabilities of the 9-1-1 system, particularly for mobile phone users. Next Generation will take advantage of the many features available for mobile phone users to provider prompt and accurate emergency response for citizens.

Next Generation 9-1-1 will also lay the groundwork for 911 enhancements including text-to-911 and the possibility of phone or video-to-911 in the future.

On behalf of the CVRD, EMC staff are working with the Central Island 9-1-1 Partnership, Telus, E-Comm, North Island 911 and other agencies to ensure a smooth transition to Next Generation 9-1-1 in the coming years.

Fire Dispatch
Fire Dispatch in the Cowichan Region is delivered under contract by North Island 911 and using radios towers owned and managed by EMC staff on behalf of the CVRD.
What Is It?
When you call 9-1-1 and ask to speak to “FIRE”, your call is transferred to the modern fire dispatch center in Campbell River, which is open 24/7/365. Once you speak with a dispatcher, your call is then appropriately dispatched to the nearest fire department using a combination of closed-circuit links connected to radio towers and fire departments. The fire dispatch system is considered a “life safety critical system” in order to promptly and appropriately dispatch fire departments to your emergency, but also critical for the firefighter’s safety while they perform their duties. Given the critical nature of the fire dispatch system, the system is built with multiple redundancies and is monitored at all times by dispatchers and technical staff.
Emergency Radio Communications

In times of emergency or disaster, EMC may establish a Regional Emergency Operations Centre (REOC) designed to act as a coordination and communications centre for any large emergency or disaster events that impact the Cowichan region.

If telecommunications infrastructure is damaged or overwhelmed; telephones, mobile phones, and internet may not work. EMC has established an emergency communications team, coordinated backup communications plans with response agencies and purchased select equipment in order to provide emergency backup communications for the region if required during a disaster or emergency.

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Current Burning Permissions
Open burning—or burning outdoors—is allowed when the wildfire risk is low and can be a useful tool when conducted responsibly. Open burning includes Category 1 campfire, Category 2 and Category 3 open fire.
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Regional Water Use Restrictions
During drought conditions, your water system operator may introduce water use restrictions to conserve limited water supplies. There are four stages of water restrictions which are coordinated across the Cowichan Valley. Local conditions may sometimes require a higher stage of water restrictions on certain systems.
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