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Medicine Hat Regional 911 Communications is the emergency communications center for Southeastern Alberta and provides emergency communication services, radio and dispatch capability for Fire Departments within the City of Medicine Hat, Cypress County and the County of 40 Mile; Medicine Hat Police Service, as well as call answer and dispatch for Special Transit, and after hours Emergency Utilities.
Medicine Hat Regional 911 Communications is the first Center in the World to become an Accredited Center of Excellence (ACE) in Fire, Police and Medical protocols, and has thus set the pace for the rest of the global 911 platform. To be Accredited ensures the best standards in the world are being met by Medicine Hat’s 911 Communications to protect residents and emergency personnel.
Following the Fire and Police Emergency Dispatch Systems involve 911 staff asking callers a series of questions. These questions are not just random questions, but very intentional to glean the best information for responders, and the people we serve. Accreditation in the use of the Dispatch Systems is an assurance to the public that a level of professionalism and quality control is being used in Medicine Hat. All data is examined by the National Academy of Emergency Dispatch on a regular basis to ensure the standards are being met.
“While the emergency personnel are being dispatched there are many questions to ensure safety for you and for the personnel arriving on scene,” says Colleen Bachewich, Superintendent 911 Communications. “Even the smallest detail can be critical – the more information we have the greater our ability to help you and responding personnel. If there is a gun, for instance, we want our personnel to be aware of that, and provide you with safety instructions.”
- Integrity: You do what is right, not what you want; you model the expected behavior; you have credibility; you do not compromise your values; your actions reflect your beliefs.
- Accountability: You take responsibility for all your actions; you willingly follow the team purpose and values.
- Discipline: You have self-control; you keep control of your emotions; you develop good practice and life habits.
- Positive Attitude: You are positive (positive words, expressions, and what you do); you are enthusiastic and encouraging to all.
- Passion: You have a desire to aim for excellence; you never quit; you have clear expectations and develop skills.
- Teamwork: You know and accept your role on the team; you are working with everyone to the same goal (unity); you have an “it’s not about me” attitude (selfless); you contribute to the team.
- Work Ethic: You are determined; you are always trying to get better; you never quit; you are prepared; you practice with focus on the skill.
- Honour: You respect authority (coaches, supervisors, trainers, etc.); you build others up (praise, encouragement and constructive criticism); you are on time, follow directions and speak positive words, you understand others.
- Humility: You share the credit; you help build the team feeling; you help others be successful; No Ego – we are all equal in importance.
- Coachable: You are a good listener, you value feedback (advice and suggestions on how to improve); you want to learn and get better.
- Fearless: You don’t run away from problems; you find ways to approach your fears to conquer them; you don’t allow fear to immobilize you.
- Medicine Hat Police Service (MHPS)
- Medicine Hat Fire Department (MHFD)
- Priority Dispatch
- National Academies of Emergency Dispatch (NAED)
- GPS capability in the City of Medicine Hat, Cypress County and the County of 40 Mile
- Medicine Hat Police Service, Medicine Hat Fire Department, and Special Transit all use Mobile Data Terminals (MDT’s)
- EFD and EPD protocols
911 is for police, fire or medical emergencies when lives are in danger, immediate action is required or there is a crime in progress. 911 call-takers cannot provide information on the weather, power outages, municipal services, seasonal time change, or to call a tow truck or taxi. Don’t call 911 and ask for the ‘non-emergency’ phone number. Those numbers are located in the front pages of your phone book. You can also call directory assistance and retrieve any number.
Please use 911 responsibly – it is not an information line.
Stay on the line.
When a Medicine Hat 911 call-taker answers, they will ask you which town or city responders will be required for. They will then ask you to “Tell me exactly what happened”. This is a very important question used to determine what the situation is, along with which Agency responders will be required. Once this information is gathered, your call will be immediately processed.
Stay on the line and follow instructions. Your 911 call-taker will stay on the line with you to make sure your call is answered by the agency you need.
Know your location.
- Know your location at all times and communicate it when you are asked.
- Location is particularly important if you are calling from a cell phone or an internet phone (VoIP).
- You should know what city you are in, building or home addresses, cross streets, and any other information that will help emergency personnel find you.
Be prepared to answer questions.
- Our call-takers are trained to ask specific questions in a priority sequence. Please answer their questions as best you can. Their persistence is based on a need to provide accurate and specific information to the attending emergency responders.
Listen carefully, speak clearly and try to remain calm.
- Please understand that while call-takers are asking you questions, they are also alerting and dispatching the appropriate emergency personnel to help you at the same time. Their questions are not delaying help being sent.
Tell us if the call was made by accident.
- If you dial 911 accidentally, stay on the line and tell us. If you hang up, we don’t know if you are OK, and will call back or send Police to check on you
Don’t program 911 into your telephone – speed dials can lead to accidental 911 calls.
- Keep your cell phone in a safe position when not in use to prevent accidental calls
- Please do not test 911 to see if it’s working
Help others to learn more about 911.
- Teach children to use 911 properly, and remind them it is not a toy. Always keep cordless phones fully charged and in the same place in the home. Keep your address information near the phone and show your children and caregivers where it is. Never give old cell phones to children to use as toys – many decommissioned phones can still dial 911
- Deaf and hearing/speech impaired callers can dial 911 through TTY (telephone typewriter) units