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Published March 1, 2024

Police, fire in Barrie and South Simcoe Police receive next generation 911 funding

The Barrie police and fire service as well as South Simcoe police will be moving into the next generation.

At a news conference at the Barrie Fire Service headquarters on Friday, the Ontario government announced nearly $3 million to help modernize the 911 system of police and fire services in Barrie and South Simcoe Police.

Known as next generation 911 (NG911), Doug Downey, MPP for Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte, said it will allow 911 services to be state-of-the art and cutting edge.

From L - R : Innisfil Mayor Lynn Dollin, Deputy Barrie Fire Chief Carrie Clark, Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte MPP Doug Downey, Barrie-Innisfil MPP Andrea Khanjin, Barrie Police Chief Rich Johnston, South Simcoe Police Chief John Van Dyke (photo - Barrie 360)

Once implemented, NG911 will enhance emergency services with upgraded call handling systems, cyber security infrastructure, and networking infrastructure.

The province says putting modern 911 technology at the fingertips of operators, dispatcher and communicators will allow faster deployment of first responders.

The technology will enable voice, text messages, and data to be sent by the public to 911 communications centres. Emergency call takers will also gain the ability to identify the location of a call using GPS coordinates.

"What it's going to allow us to do is really embrace smartphone technology, whether it's video calling, text messaging, those things that provide safety for our residents," according to Andrea Khanjin, MPP for Barrie-Innisfil.

The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has mandated that emergency communications centres transition their networks from analog to digital by March 2025.

"This financial support will also provide for a robust communications campaign to share information on NG911 capabilities and benefits with police members and most importantly, the public," according to Barrie Police Chief Rich Johnston.

Funding breakdown:

  • Barrie Police Service - $848,790
  • South Simcoe Police - $550,842
  • Barrie Fire and Emergency Services - $1,392,359
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