Working group examines 911 question

Working group examines 911 question The Yukon government is looking into the feasibility of expanding 911 service in the territory. A working group set up for that purpose reconvened in February, said Community Services Minister Brad Cathers.

The Yukon government is looking into the feasibility of expanding 911 service in the territory.

A working group set up for that purpose reconvened in February, said Community Services Minister Brad Cathers.

But there’s no word yet on when that group will come up with findings or recommendations.

There are a number of complicating factors in rolling out 911 beyond Whitehorse, said Cathers.

For one, there are a lot of organizations that would be affected by any plan to change how emergency services are delivered, he said.

Those include fire departments, emergency medical service providers, the RCMP and the communities themselves.

Any solution must be workable for all of the groups involved, said Cathers.

“Certainly this is something we see as potentially being an opportunity for moving forward in this area, but there are technical and financial issues that need to be fully understood, and there needs to be comfort from all of the affected partners with whatever action is taken before we jump to any conclusions here.”

He did not go into detail on what the challenges are specifically and how they might be overcome.

NorthwesTel responded to a request for comment with a brief statement saying that it currently has the infrastructure in place for what has been asked of the company to date, and it will “assess what is required and will proceed accordingly” once they have been given further direction.

Cathers said he has reached out to Jim Regimbal, president of the Association of Yukon Fire Chiefs, and hopes to speak to him about his concerns.

Regimbal has been pushing for expanded 911 service in the territory for years.

It’s premature to say what a solution might look like, said Cathers.

“I look forward to working with partners on this issue.”