Using a cellphone is not the same as using a landline:
- important things to know about calling 911 from a cellphone
- important things to know about the 911 system
No one can predict when an emergency is going to happen, but when it does, we depend on the 911 system to connect us with emergency services.
A number of standards and regulations are in place to ensure 911 services in Alberta are efficient, consistent and robust. Amendments to the Emergency 911 Act and its regulations will continue to support Alberta’s 911 centres as they work to meet federally mandated upgrades for the 911 system. These changes will increase funding to 911 centres, and allow the funding to be made available to both primary 911 centres and secondary 911 centres.
- Primary 911 centres answer and evaluate emergency calls directly from the public
- Secondary 911 centres further evaluate calls and dispatch first responders
The recently revised Alberta 911 Standards apply to primary and now to secondary 911 centres. These new standards ensure Alberta meets the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) mandated capabilities and timelines, introduce cyber security requirements, and increase interoperability. The new standards ensure that 911 centres can provide agile, dynamic, and dependable 911 services for Albertans:
The Emergency 911 Act established a monthly cellphone levy to help fund day-to-day operations and technology advancements for 911 centres across the province. One technology this levy helped pay for is 911 texting for people who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired.
Starting on September 1, 2021, the existing 44 cent monthly 911 levy will increase to 95 cents per month on all Alberta cellphones. Most of this funding will go directly towards Alberta’s 911 centres, with a portion covering service provider and program area administration costs. This increased funding will help Alberta’s 911 centres upgrade to federally-mandated Next Generation 911 technology over the next three years. The increased funding re-establishes a proportionate funding model with municipalities and agencies that run 911 centres sharing the costs. This funding is meant to enhance, not replace existing funding.
The Emergency Levy Regulation outlines billing and administration of the levy.
Over 1.33 million 911 calls are made in Alberta each year. That’s why it’s important that 911 lines are only used for emergency calls and not frivolous calls, which tie up 911 public safety resources unnecessarily or abuse the 911 service.
Under the Emergency 911 Act, the fines for frivolous calls are:
- $5,000 for first time offenders
- $10,000 for repeat offenders
Accidental calls to 911 or calls made in good faith will not normally be considered frivolous calls.
The provincial levy collected from cellphones helps strengthen and support the delivery of 911 by:
- covering staff and training costs
- updating hardware
- funding new technology and upgrading to Next Generation 911
Funding is granted to each call centre on a quarterly basis.
- Learn more about the funding formula and how grant money can be spent by reading the Alberta 911 Grant Program Guidelines.
- Learn more about how grants are issued by reading the Emergency Grants Regulation.
Table 1. Funds granted to 911 centres (actual payments by quarterly instalment)
|Recipient||1st Payment – Aug 2020||2nd Payment – Nov 2020||3rd Payment – Feb 2021||4th Payment – May 2021||Total|
|City of Calgary||$1,275,933.72||$1,274,846.77||$1,289,243.16||$1,252,403.41||$5,092,427.06|
|City of Edmonton||$889,715.21||$888,962.18||$898,935.86||$873,413.63||$3,551,026.88|
|City of Red Deer||$418,909.72||$418,563.74||$423,146.09||$411,420.06||$1,672,039.61|
|City of Grande Prairie||$191,263.68||$191,114.53||$193,090.03||$188,034.80||$763,503.04|
|City of Lethbridge||$168,865.66||$168,735.87||$170,454.89||$166,055.99||$674,112.41|
|Foothills Regional Emergency Services Commission||$123,756.07||$123,665.28||$124,867.74||$121,790.70||$494,079.79|
|Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo||$118,804.71||$118,718.20||$119,863.96||$116,932.02||$474,318.89|
|City of Medicine Hat||$85,961.09||$85,902.98||$86,672.63||$84,703.12||$343,239.82|
|City of St. Albert||$77,949.51||77,898.32||$78,576.24||$76,841.49||$311,265.56|
|Kyetech Canada Inc.||$50,873.36||$50,845.59||$51,213.44||$50,272.12||$203,204.51|
|East Central 911 Call Answer Society||$54,016.90||$53,986.40||$54,390.26||$53,356.82||$215,750.38|
|Bonnyville Regional Fire Authority||$65,178.28||$65,138.14||65,669.80||$64,309.30||$260,295.52|
|City of Camrose||$45,973.07||$45,949.53||$46,261.27||$45,463.54||$183,647.41|
|Wheatland and Adjacent Districts Emergency Medical Services Association||$39,511.31||$39,493.36||$39,731.10||$39,122.72||$157,858.49|
|City of Lloydminster||36,348.96||$36,333.74||$36,535.27||$36,019.56||$145,237.53|
|Town of Taber||$34,669.24||$34,655.48||$34,837.77||$34,371.29||$138,533.78|
For emergencies: call 911 directly.
Do not use this email for an emergency - this is an office email address.
For information on 911 calls or 911 in Alberta:
Email: [email protected]
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