The City of Winnipeg is taking time to recognize the hard work of 9-1-1 dispatchers in the city. 

"Winnipeg’s 9-1-1 Centre is a trusted lifeline between the community and public safety services they require," says Winnipeg Police Chief, Danny Smyth in a news release. "A 9-1-1 call is a call no one wants to make, but we are exceptionally fortunate to have a caring and committed team ready to answer those calls when help is most needed."

The dispatchers for both the Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) as well as the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS) play a crucial role in keeping Winnipeggers safe in an emergency, getting them the help they need. They are being recognized especially during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week which runs from April 9 - 15.

"Our 9-1-1 staff are the FIRST of our first responders. They are there for residents on their worst days, serving as a trusted lifeline," says Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service Chief, Christian Schmidt. "Not only do they get Winnipeggers the help they need, when and where they need it, they also play an integral role in keeping our paramedics, firefighters and police officers safe when at a scene."

There are 170 people on staff in Winnipeg's 9-1-1 dispatch centre. In 2022 they collectively answered over one million calls. 

Getting the right services to each call is vital in helping residents, and this involves having the right information at the scene of any emergency. 

The WPS and WFPS telecommunicators remind the public of a few tips when making 9-1-1 emergency calls:

  • Know the location of the emergency. This is the most important piece of information needed when someone calls 9-1-1. Locations come in many forms including a proper street address, an intersection, a landmark, or a commonplace name (such as a store, school, or arena).
  • Remain calm and answer all questions asked by the 9-1-1 call taker, including your phone number. This allows the 9-1-1 call taker to call you back should the call become disconnected.
  • On very rare occasions, you may get a recorded message when dialing the 9-1-1. Do not hang up. Your call will be answered as soon as a 9-1-1 call taker is available.
  • Always remain on the line until the 9-1-1 operator tells you to disconnect. This will ensure the proper resources are sent and will allow them to provide you with pre-arrival instructions.
  • If you accidentally dial 9-1-1, do not hang up. If you hang up, a ring-back will occur and this ties up emergency services. Stay on the line to advise the 9-1-1 call taker that you have dialed by accident, and answer any questions they may have.
  • Do not allow children to have access to deactivated cell phones because although deactivated, these phones can still dial 9-1-1 and be used to generate false or prank calls.

The City of Winnipeg reminds people never to call 9-1-1 unless it is an emergency. 

Residents requiring non-emergent care can call 204-986-6222 for police-related incidents and 204-986-6336 for fire or paramedic-related non-emergency call.