Was the RCMP wrong when they said “the risks are too high” …. or is the RCMP wrong now when they ignore their own strongly worded warnings?

This letter was sent to all Nova Scotia MPs, MLAs and Senators on March 30, 2020.


Good Morning Honourable Nova Scotia Members of Parliament, Members of the Legislature and Senators

The RCMP is downgrading our emergency communication system in Nova Scotia at a time when Nova Scotia is experiencing new safety risks from earthquakes, rising sea levels and a global pandemic.

Attached are short comments from the three leading authorities in the field of emergency communication which all say that “geographic separation and redundancy” are the standard for a safe 911 system. Nova Scotia meets that high standard now as it has one major 911 communication facility deliberately located 100 kilometers from the other. We could soon lose that standard of safety.

The RCMP is proposing to concentrate both 911 emergency call centers in downtown Dartmouth. Furthermore, the RCMP Emergency leadership and management offices are in the same facility. If this part of Dartmouth is quarantined or closed, both major communication centers and the emergency leadership RCMP offices will all be compromised.

The Ontario Provincial Police and the Toronto Police Services directed us to the three leading emergency communications organizations in North America. Attached are quotes from their safety manuals. They can’t all be wrong.

In addition, attached are quotes from the 2004 study authored by an RCMP Expert Panel on this very issue. Although this 2004 RCMP study says that the “risks are too high” to co-locate these 911 centers in HRM, recent earthquakes, rising sea levels and a pandemic event have proven that the risks are even greater now.

Was the RCMP wrong when they said “the risks are too high” …. or is the RCMP wrong now when they ignore their own strongly worded warnings?

Based on the standards required by the experts, Nova Scotia will have a sub-standard 911 emergency communication system if we lose the “geographic separation and redundancy”. If this lowering of safety standards is a concern to you or your constituents, please contact federal government officials to call for a reassessment of this decision based one the new circumstances facing Nova Scotia. This will affect emergency services for the entire province from Sydney to Yarmouth.

Thank you,
Bill Casey
Former Member of Parliament
902 397 1305

Attached images:
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) 2009

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

The National Emergency Number Association (NENA) 2015

The 2004 Expert Report Commissioned by the RCMP


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