It’s An Emergency! Quick, Call…Uh…Somewhere!

File this one under you learn something new every day.

Until now, I assumed that 911 service was something that everyone in the country had. But as I’ve just discovered, the Northwest Territories won’t have it until this November, the Yukon only got it in 2016, and Nunavut has something called Priority Dispatch service, which they say is enhanced but is still primitive enough that they have to ask for your address and phone number when you call.

N.W.T.’s long-promised 911 service will be functional starting in November, says the territory’s minister of municipal and community affairs.
“The days of residents and visitors to the Northwest Territories not knowing how to contact community emergency services will finally come to an end,” said Alfred Moses in the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday.
The territory has been planning and laying the groundwork for the emergency dispatch service for months. Once operational the service will be available in every community in the N.W.T. 
It would be similar to 911 systems in other jurisdictions, but with service available in all of the N.W.T.’s 11 official languages through interpreters contracted by the territory.

There have been problems in the past with 911 calls in the N.W.T. People have called the number to report emergencies, only to discover the service doesn’t exist.
“There have been several emergency situations over the years and across the territory where having 911 service would have improved response times, and in some cases even saved lives,” Moses acknowledged in the Legislature.

Well, I suppose I shouldn’t feel too badly about my ignorance if people who live there don’t even know that.

Speaking of which, if you live there and didn’t know that, here’s a frequently asked questions page you might be interested in.

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