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Public Safety Communications Branch

Regional Emergency Services (RES) Public Safety Communications Branch provides emergency dispatch to the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.  When you dial 9-1-1 you are connected locally to the RES Telecommunicators who dispatch services for fire and medical related emergencies. If your emergency requires police, the Telecommunicators will immediately transfer you to the RCMP dispatch centre for further assistance. If you are experiencing or are a witness to an emergency, please remember the following:

Know what’s happening

  • Assess the emergency before you call or text 9-1-1.
  • Not every bystander needs to call 9-1-1 regarding the same incident.  

Try to stay calm

  • Telecommunicators will be able to help you quickly and more efficiently if you stay calm.

Listen carefully & answer questions

  • Keep answers quick and concise so that the Telecommunicators can determine and dispatch the necessary emergency services.  
  • Answer only the questions being asked.  Adding extra information that the Telecommunicator does not ask for or that is not immediately related to the emergency can slow the response time.
  • Be prepared to answer the following questions:
      • What is the address of the emergency?
      • What is the phone number you are calling from?
      • What is the emergency?
        • If the emergency is medically related:

               1. How old is he/she? (If you are unsure of the age, please make an educated guess.)
               2. Is he/she awake or unconscious?
               3. Is he/she breathing? (If you do not know, you will be asked to check.)

        • If the emergency is fire related:

               1. Are you safe and out of danger?
               2. Is everyone else safe and out of danger?

If you call 9-1-1 by accident – DO NOT HANG UP!

  • Telecommunicators will follow up with all calls.  If you accidentally call 9-1-1, stay on the line and explain that it was a mistake to avoid emergency services from being dispatched.

Is it an emergency?

  • If the situation does not require police, fire or an ambulance, do not call 9-1-1.
  • ONLY CALL 9-1-1 in an emergency.

Text with 9-1-1

RES is implementing the Text with 9-1-1 service on September 1, 2017.  This service is available to individuals who own a cell phone and are deaf, hard of hearing, speech impaired, non-verbal and/or require text messaging to communicate an emergency to the RES Telecommunicators.  

Prior to using Text with 9-1-1 individuals must register for this service by visiting http://textwith911.ca/en/wireless-service-providers/.  Once the cell phone number is registered with the service provider, the phone can then be used to text message emergencies to the local RES Telecommunicators.

How to use Text with 9-1-1:

1.    Dial 9-1-1 on your cell phone.  Ensure to unlock your cell phone as it may not allow you to text while in lock mode.  This will establish contact with the RES Telecommunicators.

2.    Shortly after the call is connected, you should receive an initial text message from the RES Telecommunicators.  The number will be 13 digits in length starting with 555911.

3.    Reply to this text message with a brief and concise description of your emergency, including the address.  

4.    Keep 9-1-1 connected by voice call if possible to allow the RES Telecommunicator to hear any background noise which may be helpful in assessing the emergency.  

5.    Continue to text the RES Telecommunicator when they ask questions regarding the emergency.

6.    You will know the Text with 9-1-1 session is concluded when you receive a text message that says “END of 9-1-1 Call”.

Text with 9-1-1 should only be used if a voice call is not possible, or if it is too dangerous.  Texting is more time consuming and could delay emergency services response time.

Non-emergency complaint lines:

  • PULSE – 780-743-7000
  • Public Safety Communications Branch business line  – 780-743-7061
  • RCMP complaints line (non-emergency calls) – 780-788-4000
  • RCMP administration line – 780.788.4040
  • Bylaw complaints/administration/animal control line – 780-788-4200
  • Health Link – 8-1-1 or 1-866-408-5465
  • Ambulance billing inquiries – 780-743-7975

Contact Us:

For more information, please contact the RES main line at 780-792-5500 or e-mail us to Ask a Question.

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