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Breaking Ground: Toronto Fire Services Among NG9-1-1 Pioneers with Full End-to-End IP Service

Updated: Feb 21

As we discussed in one of our posts, the move to Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) is a pivotal moment for emergency services. Traditional 9-1-1 infrastructure is struggling with modern communication demands, prompting the need for a more advanced system. 


The urgency for NG9-1-1 stems from the limitations of the legacy systems, which are struggling to adapt to diverse modes of communication. While Enhanced 9-1-1 (E911) provides important information to call agents such as location and phone number, it cannot handle the more advanced technology that we have today. With over 80% of emergency calls from wireless devices, NG9-1-1 enables and improves real-time transmission of crucial information, such as the ability to provide more accurate location data and accepting text messages, empowering responders to make informed decisions. 


The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has taken proactive steps by directing telecommunications providers to update their networks for NG9-1-1 voice services. While the updates won't impact current access to 9-1-1, the move to NG9-1-1 sets the stage for future services, including real-time text messaging. As of March 1, 2022, telecommunications providers have been directed to modernize their networks, with ongoing collaboration to meet evolving standards. 


Toronto Fire Services and NG9-1-1 


In December 2023, Toronto Fire Services Emergency Communications Centre accepted Ontario’s first live Next Generation 9-1-1 call, becoming the first PSAP to complete its onboarding process on the NG9-1-1 Network from Bell Canada. 

This milestone marks a pivotal step in advancing 9-1-1 services in Ontario, laying the groundwork for technological integration and innovation. 


Fast facts about Toronto Fire Services: 

  • Toronto Fire Services is the largest fire service in Canada, serving a population of 3 million community members 

  • Toronto Fire Services operates from 84 fire stations and eight support facilities strategically positioned to respond quickly to emergencies 

  • In 2022 alone, Toronto Fire Services responded to 168,695 emergency incidents, underscoring their dedication and efficiency in handling many critical situations 


This achievement highlights the Toronto Fire Services commitment to embracing innovative technology and emphasizes the important role NG9-1-1 plays in enhancing emergency response capabilities. Congratulations again to the Toronto Fire Services for this significant accomplishment in advancing public safety.  


NG9-1-1: Shaping Tomorrow's Emergency Services 


As for the future of NG9-1-1 in North America, 5G networks will modern emergency communications. The rollout of 5G is anticipated to revolutionize NG9-1-1 systems by offering faster data speeds, increased bandwidth and reduced latency. This opens doors to the integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning for enhanced emergency location accuracy. In addition, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) can boost situational awareness for responders and support a greater number of connected devices through the Internet of Things (IoT). The precision of location data is expected to improve significantly, especially in challenging environments. 


Learn more about solutions in Versaterm's purpose-built ecosystem that can help your agency with the migration to NG9-1-1: 



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