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Emergency call dispatchers

When a member of the public from the Montréal Island calls 911, the call goes to one of the SPVM Operational Communications Centres (CCO). There are two hundred and ten civilian employees in these two centres, namely 188 emergency call dispatchers (PCU) – 128 women and 60 men – and 22 operations leads (RDO).

Dispatchers have a key role in the emergency services organization for the Montréal Island. They are the front line for calls from the public since each 911 call made is received by a dispatcher.

In 2013, emergency call dispatchers handled 1,393,435 calls, including 404,940 intended for police services. They spend an average of 122 seconds on each call. Operational Communications Centres operate 24 hours/day, every day of the year.

For 911 calls, the dispatcher's role is to identify the nature of the event, right from the start of the first questions to the person calling in. The call dispatcher then transfers the call to the appropriate organization – Montréal Fire Department (SIM), Urgences-Santé, STM, SQ, Coast Guard, Québec Ministry of Transport (MTQ), Gaz Métropolitain, Port of Montréal, Montréal Public Works or Hydro-Québec. When a call is intended for a police service, the call dispatcher conducts a full analysis, then transfers the call to the police dispatcher, who communicates information on the call to the mobile work stations (PTM) in police vehicles and over the radio.

Calls are categorized based on their level of priority and location of the event.

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