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Communications Division

The Surrey Fire Communications centre provides down-stream call taking & dispatch for the Surrey Fire Service, as well as thirty-two other communities across British Columbia. In 2010, Surrey Fire Communications Centre received over 60,000 calls generating over 52,000 incidents. Innovations in technology provide automated down-streamed interfaces with the British Columbia Ambulance Services for a CAD to CAD interoperability, providing the responding crews with quicker notification and overall faster response times.

Within the Communications Centre, performance measurements and targets have been established and are reported on a monthly basis since 2007. Following the same NFPA standards for call answering, dispatchers are meeting and even exceeding the standards for call answering (Secondary Service Answering Point (SSAP) 95% in 15 seconds and 99% within 40 seconds) down-streamed calls from the Primary Service Answering Point (PSAP). Performance standards for processing emergency calls are also exceeding the NFPA standard (NFPA 1221 standard: Ninety percent of emergency alarm processing shall be completed within 60 seconds, and 99 percent of alarm processing shall be completed within 90 seconds), reports for the previous 12 months range from 90% of calls completed processing between 38 seconds and 52 seconds, exceeding the standard by up to 22 seconds.

The Fire Communications centre operates on a two-platoon system (or four shift), with a group of full-time calltakers and dispatchers permanently assigned to each shift, similar to that in the Operations Communications Centre at the Surrey RCMP. These employees are supplemented by a team of dedicated and fully trained part time staff, that assist in matching peak staffing and coverage as required in the centre. In total, Surrey Fire currently employs 25 individuals in our Centre.

Surrey Fire Service is committed to providing comprehensive training and development programming. Employees are required to complete skills maintenance drills, advance their education through related training material and actively participate in department wide matrix events, all under the direction of a qualified shift supervisor. Additionally, all employees undergo psychometric testing prior to hiring to ensure that they possess the personality requirements as identified through our division.

Surrey Fire continues to advance its dispatching and service boundaries, answering to requests for proposals across British Columbia and identifying best practices for innovation and improved service levels.