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The Kelowna Fire Department has secured funding to transition over to a more modern 911 service.
In a presentation to council on Monday, fire chief Travis Whiting told council that the department will be required to make the transition over to the new Next Generation 911 service between now and March 2025.
“Next Generation 911, allows voice, text, video (and) those types of things, to come into our dispatch centre and provide a higher level of service,” said Whiting.
Council was told that the department received $3.045 million in grant funding through the Union of BC Municipalities to offset the costs of the transition.
To date, an initial 50% of the funding, or $1.5 million, has been received.
“The rest will be directed on an as-per-basis as we work through the process over the next 18 months to implement,” Whiting said.
“The costs so far have been used for consultants for the most part as well as some hard costs of hardware and software.”
Whiting told council that going forward, the costs will go towards new hardware and new software, including upgrades to the backup centre, staff training and any other internal costs.
Council was asked to approve an amendment to the 2023 Financial Plan to include the grant funding.
The request was supported by a unanimous vote.