Program Design Selected for the Northwest Territories 9-1-1 Service

February 5, 2018
News Releases

YELLOWKNIFE (February 5, 2018) – The Honourable Caroline Cochrane, Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs (MACA), and the Honourable Glen Abernethy, Minister of Health and Social Services (HSS), today announced a key decision in the program design for the Northwest Territories’ (NWT) new 9-1-1 service: an in-house Primary Public Safety Answering Point will be established, co-located with the existing HSS Med-Response program.

Since May 2017, the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) has been working with key stakeholders to validate previous planning assumptions, including a final operating model.

This 9-1-1 model includes pre-arrival over-the-phone health care instruction and a single call point for access to existing emergency services. The advantages of co-location for the NWT 9-1-1 and Med-Response programs include the ability to share systems, space, and training costs. Long-term, future integration with other GNWT emergency programming such as the NWT Public Alerting System will also be explored.

NWT 9-1-1 will go live in the summer of 2019.

“An in-house call centre co-located with Med-Response truly represents a ‘made in the north’ design which recognizes the NWT’s unique operating environment. All thirty-three of our communities will benefit from this approach.”

- Caroline Cochrane, Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs

“In 2015, the Northwest Territories broke new ground in Canada by combining air ambulance dispatch and clinical consultation into a single centre. By co-locating the 9-1-1 and Med-Response programs, we are able to continue making efficiencies in service delivery to both health care practitioners and the public”. 
- Glen Abernethy, Minister of Health and Social Services

Key Facts

  • A Public Safety Answering Point is a call centre responsible for answering calls to an emergency telephone number for police, firefighters, ambulance and other emergency services. 
  • Nine-one-one (9-1-1) is a three-digit telephone number you will be able to call in an emergency. Calling 9-1-1 will connect you to a trained emergency dispatcher in a call centre right here in the NWT. The emergency dispatcher will connect you to the emergency services already available in your community.
  • Launched in February 2015, Med-Response gives health care practitioners across the NWT improved and timely access to air ambulance services and clinical support.
  • 9-1-1 will be implemented simultaneously in all 33 communities by summer 2019.
  • NWT telephone and cell phone users (including Internet-based telephone users) will be charged a small nominal monthly fee that will appear on their phone bill. User fees for 9-1-1 are charged throughout Canada and internationally. No fees will be charged in the NWT until the service is being provided.
  • 9-1-1 will be available in all NWT official languages through the use of interpreters.

Related Links

 9-1-1 Implementation Project

Media Contacts

Jay Boast
Communications Planning Specialist
Municipal and Community Affairs
Government of the Northwest Territories
Phone: 867-767-9162 Ext. 21044