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NG 9-1-1 Funding Announcement for Barrie-Innisfil

Ontario Investing in Infrastructure and Technology to Help Support New Emergency 9-1-1 Communications System

The Province is investing nearly $3 million in voice, text message and data flow support for Barrie and Innisfil Emergency Services

March 1, 2024 

BARRIE — On Friday, March 1st, MPPs Khanjin, Downey and Mulroney announced that the Ontario’s Ministry of the Solicitor General is investing nearly $3 million to ensure state-on-the-art technology for emergency response services in Barrie and Innisfil. The Ontario government is investing nearly $1.4 million to the Barrie Fire and Emergency Service, almost $1 million to Barrie Police Service and over half a million to South Simcoe Police to help transition emergency communications services technology to Next Generation 9-1-1.

“In an emergency, the efficiency of communication plays a crucial role. I believe emergency operators, dispatchers, and communicators are everyday heroes on the front lines, who are prioritizing the well-being of our residents. Modern 9-1-1 technology will help keep Barrie and Innisfil safe,” said Andrea Khanjin, MPP for Barrie-Innisfil, “and our government’s investment into Next Generation 9-1-1 clearly demonstrates commitment towards ensuring public safety through modern technology.”

The Next Generation 9-1-1 services, once implemented, will enhance emergency services, and save lives through upgraded call handling systems, cyber security infrastructure, and networking infrastructure.  Putting modern 9-1-1 technology at the fingertips of operators, dispatchers, and communicators will allow faster deployment of first responders to better protect the people of Ontario.

“Our government is committed to public safety and ensuring that when an emergency happens Ontarians can access the services they need,” said Doug Downey, MPP for Barrie – Springwater – Oro-Medonte. “This funding will ensure that Barrie Police, Fire and Emergency services have the infrastructure and technological upgrades necessary to support Next Generation 9-1-1 services.”

Next Generation 9-1-1 will enable voice, text messages, and data to flow seamlessly from the public to 9-1-1 communications centres.  Emergency operators and dispatchers will also gain the ability to identify the location of a call using GPS coordinates.

“Investing to bring Next Generation 9-1-1 to South Simcoe shows how seriously this government takes public safety,” said Caroline Mulroney, MPP for York-Simcoe. “I believe that emergency operators, dispatchers and communicators are heroes of public safety, and putting modern 9-1-1 technology at their fingertips will help keep our community safe.”

“We are grateful for Ontario’s investment in Next Generation 9-1-1 technology. This funding brings technological upgrades to 911 services that will enable voice, text messages and data to be sent from the public directly to 911 communications. The modernization will make the system faster and more efficient, when every second counts,” said South Simcoe Police Service Chief John Van Dyke.

The federal Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission has mandated that emergency communications centres transition their networks from analog to digital by March of 2025.  The funding provided by the province to municipalities will help facilitate this transition including the infrastructure upgrades required.

“This funding will help the Barrie Police Service continue to move towards implementation of Next Generation 9-1-1,” said Barrie Police Chief Rich Johnston. “It will allow us to ensure our Service is well-positioned to support our Information Technology Unit and our Communications Operators as we work together to prepare for a smooth and successful transition to this new system. 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.”

This investment in Barrie and Innisfil emergency services is just a part of a larger $208 million province-wide investment by the Ontario government to help the transition to Next Generation 9-1-1.  This includes $78 million toward municipalities and emergency response centres for telecommunications infrastructure.

“I want to thank the Provincial Government for this very important funding. This grant will significantly support our Fire Communication Centre in maintaining its vital essential services, meeting mandated country wide changes, allow for enhancing of infrastructure, and fostering continued growth. The assistance provided by the Provincial Government underscores their commitment to partnering with municipalities to ensure the well-being and sustainability of Public Service Answering Points (PSAP’s) within the new Next Generation 9-1-1 framework,” said Barrie Fire Chief, Director of Emergency Service Cory Mainprize.

Today’s announcement at Barrie Fire and Emergency Service headquarters reaffirms Ontario’s commitment to supporting the emergency services sector as they undertake this important transition.

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MEDIA CONTACT                                                                                          Lana Barkan lana.barkan@pc.ola.org
(705) 722-0575