Company Seeking Government Support to Expand 9-1-1 to All Yukon Communities by 2015
DAWSON CITY, YT – May 21, 2014 – Ice Wireless, a leading mobile network company operating in Northern Canada, made a $1,000 donation today to Mrs. Gail Watson-Reid, a woman living in Dawson City, Yukon who lost her house to fire earlier this month and was unable to call 9-1-1, as the service is not widely available in the Yukon Territory.
“Losing a home is devastating,” said Cameron Zubko, Chief Operating Officer of Ice Wireless. “We are terribly sorry for Mrs. Watson-Reid’s loss and hope that this donation helps with her efforts to rebuild her life.”
Lack of 9-1-1 services in the Yukon was a leading factor in the destruction of the house. As the fire spread, Mrs. Watson-Reid was unable to find the number for the Yukon Fire Department. Witnesses tried calling 9-1-1 on their cell phones but could not get through. The crowd did not know if first responders were on their way, so a Good Samaritan risked his life to pull Mrs. Watson-Reid’s 19-year old son from the blaze.
“Ice Wireless believes that all Yukon communities deserve 9-1-1 service to help save lives and get the emergency response they need,” said Mr. Zubko. “This is the main reason why we are seeking government support to introduce 9-1-1 services to all Yukon communities by 2015.”
Ice Wireless launched 9-1-1 service to Whitehorse, Yukon last year. Operated in conjunction with Iristel, the 9-1-1 service is staffed 24-7 by live agents and receives over 12,000 calls per year from locations across the country. Ice Wireless has submitted a proposal to the government to expand the 9-1-1 service across the Yukon Territory by 2015.
“Enough meetings, it’s time to act,” said Yukon Fire Chief Jim Regimbal. “I conduct fire prevention week in the schools every year. When I ask grade 5 children what number to call when there is a fire, 75% of them will say 9-1-1. Everyone knows that 9-1-1 is an emergency number, for police, fire or ambulance, but we’ve never had it in Dawson. No one operates 9-1-1 here, the number doesn’t reach anyone.”
“9-1-1 is just not a part of our reality up here,” said Mrs. Watson-Reid. “I hope all of our communities get 9-1-1 service; this a wake-up call for everyone. I feel very lucky to have my son alive.”
Ice Wireless is gathering grassroots support for the introduction of live agent 9-1-1 service across the Yukon. The company has invited those who wish to show their support to send an email to WeWant911@icewireless.ca.
About Ice Wireless
Ice Wireless is a facilities based regional mobile network operator (MNO) that delivers state-of-the-art 3G HSPA+/UMTS technology to rural and remote areas of Canada. Ice Wireless was launched in Inuvik, Northwest Territories in 2005. Ice Wireless operates on the 850/1900 MHz spectrum under license from Industry Canada.
Today, Ice Wireless has operations across Northern Canada. The Ice Wireless network covers 75% of the population of the Yukon and Northwest Territories and also provides service to Iqaluit, Nunavut. Ice Wireless is the exclusive roaming partner of Rogers Wireless and Fido in Northern Canada, and Ice Wireless customers roam on the Rogers Wireless network when travelling outside of their service area.
Ice Wireless is supported by a strong network of independent agents, who make shopping for the company’s wireless voice and data products more convenient for local residents and businesses. Ice Wireless offers all of the newest smartphones, enabling its customers to surf the internet with ease, download the latest applications and games, and check their email on their smartphones.
Ice Wireless has established a strategic partnership with Iristel, one of Canada’s largest VoIP service providers, a registered CLEC that has begun operations in Northern Canada under the CRTC decision to open the serving area to local competition. Ice Wireless’ integration with Iristel’s international carrier grade VOIP network has created a unique and dynamic system in which mobile phones and VoIP phones are all integrated in an owned and self-controlled network.
For more information please visit www.icewireless.ca.
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