Emergency Call Centre
The emergency call centre service is currently operational for Umiujaq.
Following the death of Constable Steve Déry on March 2, 2013, an investigation by the Commission des normes de l'équité de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) was conducted. Their report stated that the KRG violated Section 51(3) of the Act respecting occupational health and safety (CQLR, c. S-2.1) because police officers were answering calls for service. As a result, the CNESST made it mandatory for the KRG to correct the situation. In response to the CNESST’s report, the KRG’s action plan included implementing an emergency call centre for Nunavik.
Since 2013, discussions for implementing a call centre were always ongoing. However, due to the region’s technological constraints, implementing a call centre service had never been possible. It is now possible to implement such a project because of the recent implementation of Tamaani’s fibre-optic internet.
In 2019, a working committee composed of representatives of the Nunavik Police Service, Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones, and the Ministry of Public Security (MSP) was put in place. During the committee’s meetings, it was agreed to evaluate all the options and the scope of the project and to prepare a model that would meet the KRG’s needs. The chosen model was the one in which an already established emergency call centre will answer Nunavik’s police emergency calls for service.
On August 9, 2022, the MSP informed the Nunavik Police Service (NPS) that Québec’s Cabinet approved the Agreement on the Reimbursement of Expenses for the Deployment of a Pilot Project Between the Government of Québec and The Kativik Regional Government for Receiving Emergency Calls From Four Northern Villages.
The Agreement sets out the terms and conditions of Québec’s payment of a financial contribution of up to $900,000 to the KRG for a one-year pilot project for receiving emergency calls from Nunavik.
The approval allows the NPS to start the project in the Northern Villages of Kuujjuaraapik, Umiujaq, Inukjuak and Puvirnituq. The City of Saint-Eustache’s Emergency Call Centre was chosen because it can offer Nunavimmiut a professional service and best fits with the NPS’s operational needs. The operators will answer Nunavimmiut’s calls, then dispatch the police officers to the location where the assistance is needed.
The benefits of using a call centre include:
- Compliance with the Act respecting occupational health and safety;
- Saint-Eustache’s call centre must follow the established provincial standards when answering emergency calls;
- The same emergency phone numbers will be used to get assistance from police officers: 819-XXX-9111;
- Dispatchers with specialized training will answer the calls 24 hours per day, 7 days per week (24/7);
- Inuktitut translation will be available for callers who don’t speak English or French;
- The appropriate resources will be dispatched with a reduced delay (e.g. for a person who calls the police emergency line for a fire, the dispatcher can send the firefighters and police officers simultaneously);
- Reduced delay in obtaining additional resources (e.g. the police officer can ask the dispatcher to call an ambulance or the first responders);
- All calls are recorded and can be replayed;
- The NPS supervisors will do follow-ups regarding all calls received at the call centre.
Frequently Asked Questions
Kuujjuaraapik, Umiujaq, Inukjuak, and Puvirnituq will be served by the call centre.
In Umiujaq, the call centre will be operational on March 6, 2023. The service will gradually be implemented in the other three northern villages. The second northern village to be operational will be Kuujjuaraapik, but a date has not yet been chosen.
There is no change in the way to contact the Nunavik Police Service in an emergency. Dial the same 10-digit number you are used to calling: (819) _ _ _ – 9111.
Your call will be answered by an operator working for the Saint-Eustache emergency call centre. The operator will ask you:
Where? Where are you? Where is the scene?
What? What happened?
Who? Who’s involved? Is anyone hurt?
When? When did it happen? Is it going on right now?
Why? Follow-up questions
Let the operator control the conversation and answer all questions as best you can. Stay on the line until you are told to hang up. Remain calm and be patient.
No. The operator will dispatch the information to the police officer while you are on the phone with them. The police officer will have the necessary information and will be better prepared to help you in an emergency.
No. You must use the same 10-digit number that you’re already used to contact the police in an emergency: (819) _ _ _ – 9111. Bell Canada does not offer 911 service in Nunavik.
The four northern villages were selected because of the availability of Tamaani’s fibre optic internet. It is the NPS’s goal to make the service available in all 14 NVs when the technology will make it possible to do so.