Not all areas can call 9-1-1

While most residents in Rainy River District should have no problems calling 9-1-1 if they need police, fire, or ambulance services, there are some exceptions to the rule.
Fort Frances Fire Chief Steve Richardson, who also is both the emergency management and fire co-ordinator for Rainy River District, stressed Friday that everyone should know that what number they call in an emergency may depend on where they live.
“There has been some confusion with the emergency numbers, as to who has 9-1-1 and who doesn’t have 9-1-1,” he noted.
“All of the organized municipalities do have 9-1-1 service, and we want to remind people the number to call in the event of an emergency in those areas is 9-1-1.
“That is going to give you the quickest access to the emergency service you’re looking for,” said Chief Richardson.
“In the unincorporated areas, those people are going to have to ensure they have the right numbers on hand in case of any emergency,” he warned.
The following municipalities currently have 9-1-1 service (which includes police, fire, and ambulance response):
•Town of Fort Frances
•Couchiching First Nation
•Unincorporated Township of Halkirk
•Unincorporated Township of Watten
•Township of Alberton
•Township of La Vallee
•Naicatchewenin First Nation (Northwest Bay)
•Township of Emo
•Township of Chapple
•Township of Morley
•Township of Dawson
•Town of Rainy River
•Township of Lake of the Woods
•Town of Atikokan
All other unincorporated or unorganized areas not listed, along with any other First Nations not listed, do not have 9-1-1 service and must use the following phone numbers:
•From Mine Centre west, residents must call the ambulance at 274-2233 and the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 (there is no dedicated fire number as there are no fire services in most unincorporated places and First Nations);
•From Mine Centre to Atikokan, residents must call the ambulance at 1-877-351-2345 and the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 (again, there is no dedicated fire number as there are no fire services in most unincorporated places and First Nations); and
•In the Atikokan area which falls out of the 9-1-1 service, call the ambulance at 597-1305 and the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 (there is no dedicated fire number as there are no fire services in most unincorporated places and First Nations, with the exception of Niobe Lake, which can call 597-2222).
Chief Richardson noted these arrangements for 9-1-1 service are not new, but that he and the Rainy River Valley Safety Coalition want to ensure all district residents know what number to call in case of an emergency.
He added anyone needing further clarification can contact him at the Fort Frances Fire Hall (274-9841).

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