Welcome To The 20th Century, Fort Nelson

Remember how surprising it was when we learned a year or so ago that there were still places in Canada that didn’t have 911 service? Well, here’s another one. Fort Nelson, B.C. just got it up and running at the end of January.

According to the article, much of the reason it wasn’t a thing there is a combination of the low population generally and the even lower number of people with landlines. You know a technology is dying when a rural area boasting somewhere around 6000 residents can only muster up 2000 that use it even though the entire region doesn’t have cell coverage. This is important because of the way 911 service is often funded. If you have a home phone number, a small charge is added to your phone bill to cover the costs of running it. So yes, pretty obvious issue there.

And on the subject of issues, I sure hope that running things out of a different province doesn’t cause any serious ones.

Residents of Fort Nelson, B.C., and the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality in the northeast of the province can now dial 911 for emergencies.
As reported by CBC News, Fort Nelson was one of the last places in Canada without 911 services. Instead, residents had to call 10-digit phone numbers for emergency services (each one had a different number).
Beginning January 27th, people in the region will be able to dial 911 from either a cellphone or landline. Dialling the number will connect them to an answering service based in Grande Prairie, Alberta. That service will then connect callers to the appropriate emergency service.

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