Photo by Don Fennell
Richmond, already a city that values integration and cooperation among emergency services seeks to take it to the next step with their bid to receive $10 million grant from the Smart Cities Challenge.
The Challenge, according to city spokesperson Ted Townsend is, “A pan-Canadian competition open to communities of all sizes, including municipalities, regional governments and Indigenous communities.”
The city has already taken strong first steps that allow cooperation and communication between some first responders in Richmond. Something as simple as putting ambulance and fire services into the same building, such as at the new Bridgeport Fire Hall, makes integration and coordination of services even easier.
Townsend, the director of corporate communications and marketing for the City of Richmond, says, “Existing and new data streams and asset management platforms would be linked across jurisdictions to effectively respond to incidents that could be as small as traffic congestion due to a rain event, or as big as a major earthquake. This initiative will enhance the daily lives of citizens, while improving community resilience to major events.”
“Our rapidly-growing, island city is home to more than 220,000 residents and nationally important infrastructure and services,” said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “New technologies and the integration of data streams offer us huge opportunities to improve our residents’ overall quality of life, while ensuring our community and economy are resilient in the face of any level of emergency.”
Townsend says, “Richmond is seeking to win one of two prizes of $10 million open to communities with populations under 500,000. Richmond’s submission has now been accepted to be considered by a hand-picked national jury. Five finalists will be selected from each prize category, and those communities will be announced sometime this summer.”