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County of Brant enters into fire agreement with Brantford

City of BrantfordCounty of Brant enters into fire agreement with Brantford

County of Brant will be entering into a ten-year service agreement with the City of Brantford for fire dispatch services, effective July 1, 2024.

This move comes as the County prepares for the mandatory transition to the Next Generation 911 (NG91-1) dispatch system by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) deadline of March 4, 2025. The County’s Fire Master Plan, 2021, also recommended that the County investigate options for and/or alternatives to the fire dispatch model.

“Following much deliberation, we are pleased to announce this new partnership with the City of Brantford,” said Cindy Stevenson, General Manager of Emergency and Protective Services for the County of Brant. “As a result of this service agreement, a critical aspect of emergency services will be provided in a fiscally responsible, stable, and high-quality manner.”

The County of Brant and City of Brantford collaborated to negotiate a fire dispatch service agreement. County of Brant Council approved entering into the agreement at the May 28, 2024 Council meeting.

“The NG9-1-1 technology will modernize emergency communications,” said Darren Watson, Fire Chief for the County of Brant. “We are confident that the City of Brantford is well positioned to implement this service enhancement.”

City of Brantford Fire Chief Todd Binkley expressed his support for the collaboration.

“We are proud to join forces with the County of Brant to offer fire dispatch services. This partnership highlights our mutual dedication to improving public safety and ensuring dependable emergency communications for our communities,” said Chief Binkley.

Next Generation 911 is a mandatory replacement of the current 9-1-1 infrastructure and systems across Canada.  NG9-1-1 will facilitate new methods of communication such as text, photos and video between a caller and a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). It will also give dispatchers the ability to identify the location of a call using GPS coordinates, resulting in a safer, faster and more informed emergency response. More information on the implementation of NG9-1-1 will be shared as it becomes available.

“Given the short and long-term investments and resources required to support the NG9-1-1 system, many dispatch services are reviewing alternative service delivery models and shifting to larger scale service providers to achieve economies of scale in an increasingly complex service infrastructure,” said Stevenson.

After-hours call support for the County of Brant administration office, which is currently provided by County of Brant Fire Dispatch, will transition to an external service provider in the coming weeks. The change will have no impact to end users. The County is providing assistance and looking at other opportunities for those presently employed through our current dispatch services.

“This was not an easy decision, given the impact on our staff, who provide excellent service to the community. We are focused on providing support and identifying opportunities in the municipality to affected staff where feasible,” said Chief Watson.

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