Electricians Taking 911 Calls?

electrician at work.jpg

Walking from a meeting at viiz’s Calgary office earlier this week, I was interrupted by the noise of ladders being set-up, materials being moved, and what sounded like a pneumatic ratchet wrench.  Noise like this in an office environment would not typically be viewed positively.  But in this case, I smiled as soon as I heard it because this was the beginning of the build out of our newest call center.  This call center will take 911 emergency calls and other operator assisted calls on behalf of our telecommunications and telematics customers.

Emergency 911 services are nearly ubiquitous in North America.  “An estimated 96% of Canada's population currently has access to either Basic 9-1-1 or Enhanced 9-1-1 service through wireline, wireless, and voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone services“ (1).  Callers rely on 911 every day.  “An estimated 240 million calls are made to 9-1-1 in the U.S. each year” (2).

 viiz takes emergency call services seriously.  Recently, viiz call center associates helped people impacted by hurricane Irma, an individual contemplating suicide, a person who was being threatened, and an elderly woman who had fallen and was seriously hurt.  It’s not just a call, an interval, or a shift.  Each 911 call has the potential to be an individual who is experiencing the worst possible scenario and who has dialed those three numbers for help.

 Managing an effective call center takes teamwork.  “Every member needs to know their role or assignment on the team, what they’re responsible for doing. In particular, they need to know how their work will contribute to the overall work of the team” (3).  When a life is on the line, the caller to 911 depends on a highly skilled agent to guide them to help. Here at viiz we’re very proud of the dedicated, highly professional team members who handle emergency services calls.  They fully understand the responsibility of taking these calls and step-up to assist those in crisis.

Agents have the ability to provide assistance as a result of people who have set up cubicles, installed computers, provisioned network connectivity, hired and trained agents, and completed the electrical work to power everything.  Although electricians don’t actually answer the phone when someone calls 911, they are a valuable part of the team that ultimately makes the service possible.

For more information about viiz services, please visit viiz.com.


1 Telecom notice of consultation CRTC 2016-116. (2016). Retrieved from http://crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2016/2016-116.htm#fnb8

2 NENA website. (n.d.). https://www.nena.org/?page=911Statistics

3 Hill, L., & Lineback, K. (2011, November 22). For your team's success, remember the how. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2011/11/for-your-teams-success-remembe.html