Minister Announces NL 911 Bureau Inc. Board Appointments

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Minister Announces NL 911 Bureau Inc. Board Appointments

by pmnationtalk on January 28, 2015916 Views

January 28, 2015

The Honourable Judy Manning, Minister of Justice and Public Safety and Minister Responsible for Fire and Emergency Services, today extended congratulations to nine individuals from throughout Newfoundland and Labrador on their appointment to the Board of Directors of NL 911 Bureau Inc. The board is responsible for the operation of the new province-wide Basic 911 service to be launched in February.

“The appointment of the NL 911 Bureau Inc. Board of Directors is a significant milestone in the establishment of a province-wide Basic 911 service, and the future development of Next Generation 911. I offer my sincere congratulations to all appointees who bring a wealth of diverse personal and professional experience to this board, and look forward to their valuable contributions.”
– The Honourable Judy Manning, Minister of Justice and Public Safety and Minister Responsible for Fire and Emergency Services

The following individuals have been appointed:

  • John Webber – Winterton (Chair)
  • Sherry Butt – Labrador City (Vice Chair)
  • Marlene Coffey – Gander (Director)
  • Sherry Colford – Mount Pearl (Director)
  • Mike Dwyer – St. John’s (Director)
  • Keith Keating – Marystown (Director)
  • Richard Murphy – Conception Bay South (Director)
  • Churence Rogers – Centreville-Wareham-Trinity(Director)
  • Neville Wheaton – Corner Brook (Director)

Mr. Webber, Ms. Butt, Ms. Coffey, Mr. Rogers and Mr. Keating will each serve for a term of four years, while Ms. Colford, Mr. Dwyer, Mr. Murphy and Mr. Wheaton will each serve for three year terms.

Mr. Rogers has been appointed as the Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador (MNL) representative, while Ms. Colford and Mr. Wheaton represent the City of St. John’s and City of Corner Brook respectively. The Emergency 911 Act provides that MNL and the communities that operate the call-taking centres each recommend one director for appointment to the board. The Executive Director of the NL 911 Bureau Inc. has a seat on the board by virtue of the position. All appointments were effective Friday, January 23, 2015.

Biographies for the newly appointed board members, as well as corporate information related to the NL 911 Bureau Inc., are contained in the backgrounder below.

The Emergency 911 Act will be officially proclaimed on February 1, 2015. The new 75 cent fee placed on each phone line throughout the province to finance the new Basic 911 service will come into effect March 1, 2015. More information regarding the overall implementation of the province-wide Basic 911 service is available at


  • Nine individuals have been appointed to the NL 911 Bureau Inc. Board of Directors.
  • The board will be responsible for the operation of the province-wide Basic 911 service which will go live by the end of February 2015 as well as the future development of Next Generation 911.
  • The Emergency 911 Act will be officially proclaimed on February 1, 2015, and the new telephone levy will come into effect on March 1, 2015.

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Media contact:

Bradley Power
Public Relations Specialist
Fire and Emergency Services-Newfoundland and Labrador
709-729-0857, 690-1810
[email protected]


NL 911 Bureau Inc. Board Members Biographies

John Webber, Chair
John Webber has considerable experience in public safety communications having served in all aspects from a Naval Communicator in the Canadian Armed Forces, 911 operator and dispatcher, to Shift Supervisor and, finally, to Operations Management of the largest Public Safety Communications Centre in Nova Scotia, located in the Halifax Regional Municipality.

For the last eight and half years, Mr. Webber served as the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) Manager, representing the Halifax Regional Municipality. His role included working with the Province of Nova Scotia – EMO 911, with the goal of providing the best possible delivery of the 911 service to residents of that province.

Mr. Webber was born and raised in Placentia, and currently resides in Winterton.

Sherry Butt , Vice Chair
Sherry Butt has spent the last 30 years providing account management and business services to over 20 businesses and organizations in Labrador West. She has worked closely with organization such as Cain’s Quest Inc., Smokey Mountain Ski Club, and Gateway Labrador Inc. to name a few. Ms. Butt has also served on a number of volunteer boards, including Hope Haven, the Labrador Status of Women Council, and Destination Labrador Inc. Ms. Butt is extremely familiar with the not for profit sector and requirements concerning financial obligation and board governance, and has acted on a number of occasions as the primary contact for federal and provincial agencies. Ms. Butt and her family currently reside in Labrador City.

Marlene Coffey, Director
Marlene Coffey has served as a paramedic in rural Newfoundland and Labrador for more than 20 years. She has been a volunteer with the Avalon North Wolverines Helicopter Rescue Team since 2005 and has been an active member with the Ambulance Operators Association for the last 15 years. In both her professional and private life, Ms. Coffey has shown great interest in improving emergency response services for residents of her community, and will undoubtedly bring the same enthusiasm and drive to the NL 911 Bureau Inc. Board of Directors. Ms. Coffey was born and raised in Churchill Falls, and currently resides in Gander.

Sherry Colford, Director (City of St. John’s)
Sherry Colford most recently served as the 911 Project Lead with Fire and Emergency Services-Newfoundland and Labrador. Ms. Colford was responsible for leading the Provincial Government team in implementing the province-wide Basic 911 service. For the 12 years prior, she worked for the St. John’s Regional Fire Department, the last five of which she served as Manager of Communications (911) and Program Development with responsibility for the operational management of the department’s 911 Communications Centre.

Ms. Colford holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Russian Language from Memorial University of Newfoundland (1996), and certifications in NFPA Firefighter Level II (2002) and Basic Emergency Management (2006).

Keith Keating, Director
Keith Keating was born and raised in Marystown. He is a plumber by trade and holds a 4th Class Power Engineering Certificate from Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. Keith worked in western Canada for four years before returning to Marystown in 1971. He was last employed with the Burin Peninsula Health Care Centre, but is now retired.

Mr. Keating was also a municipal councillor with the Town of Marystown for 31 years and most recently held the position of Deputy Mayor until 2013. He is a former member of the Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador (MNL) Board of Directors and served as Urban Municipalities Committee (UMC) Chair, which represented the 20 largest towns and cities in the province. Mr. Keating also served as the Chair of MNL’s Waste Management and Environment Committee, and was MNL’s representative on the TRIO Board of Directors (Newfoundland and Labrador Municipal Employee Benefits, Inc).

Mr. Keating has also been an active volunteer with the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Canadian Cancer Society, Terry Fox Run, and the Heritage Run Tourism Committee for more than 10 years.

Richard Murphy, Director
Richard Murphy is a resident of Conception Bay South (CBS) and has served on the municipal council in that community since 2013. Before being elected, Richard served 20 years as the town’s Fire Chief (retired 2010). During his time with the department, he was instrumental in transforming the organization into a composite fire department consisting of career and volunteer firefighters – one of very few such departments throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. During his tenure as Fire Chief, Mr. Murphy also served two terms as President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Fire Services.

Before becoming Fire Chief in 1990, Mr. Murphy trained at the College of Trades and Technology in St. John’s and spent 18 years with Newfoundland Telephone Company Ltd.

He holds a wide range of fire management and emergency management certifications, and remains actively involved in the fire and emergency management community serving as a consultant since retirement.

Churence Rogers, Director (Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador)
Churence Rogers was born and raised in Wareham, Bonavista Bay. He moved to St. John’s in 1970 to attend Memorial University of Newfoundland. He graduated with a B.A(ED) and B.A. Four years later Mr. Rogers began his teaching career in Harbour Breton and continued working in that community until his retirement in June of 2003.

Mr. Rogers has served more than 13 years on municipal council. He was elected Mayor of Harbour Breton for two terms beginning in 1997. Shortly thereafter, he moved home to Centreville-Wareham-Trinity where he is currently in his second term as Mayor.

By extension of his municipal service, Mr. Rogers has served as President of Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador since 2011, and is an active member of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

Mr. Rogers currently lives in Centreville-Wareham-Trinity with his wife Yvonne. They have two children and four grandchildren.

Neville Wheaton, Director (Corner Brook)
Neville Wheaton began his career in the fire service in 1983 when he joined the Bedford Fire Department in Nova Scotia. He advanced quickly through the ranks, accepting the position of Fire Chief in 1991. In 1996, he became Fire Chief of the Iqaluit Fire Department, where he remained until accepting the position of chief with the Corner Brook Fire Department in 2001. Mr. Wheaton is a past President of the Nunavut Fire Chiefs’ Association and the Maritime Fire Chiefs’ Association, and is a former Director with the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs. He is also the recipient of the Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal/Bar and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Mike Dwyer, Director
Mike Dwyer is the Executive Director of the NL 911 Bureau Inc. He previously held the position of Director of Regional Fire and Emergency Services (Fire Chief) with the St. John’s Regional Fire Department from 2000 to May 2014. Prior to 2000, Mr. Dwyer spent 22 years with the Provincial Government. From 1990 to 2000, he served in Assistant Deputy Minister positions with the Department of Government Services, as well as Occupational Health and Safety and Municipal Affairs.

From 1978 to 1990, Mr. Dwyer worked with the Department of Works, Services and Transportation in several capacities including Regional Director (Deer Lake), Soils and Paving Engineer, and Project Engineer.

Mr. Dwyer is a professional engineer and has served on numerous boards and committees in the past. He served as Chair of the Building and Codes Committee with the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs, Member/Chair of Provincial-Territorial Committee on Building Standards, Member of Workers’ Compensation Board of Directors in Newfoundland and Labrador, and Governor on the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety.

NL 911 Bureau Inc. Corporate Information

The NL 911 Bureau Inc. is a non-profit corporation that is arm’s length to government and overseen by the Board of Directors. It is responsible for the management of the new province-wide Basic 911 service.

The bureau will be subject to the Public Tender Act, the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Transparence and Accountability Act, and will also be subject to the Public Interest Disclosure and Whistleblower Protection Act. The bureau must also submit annual reports and yearly audited statements to the Provincial Government.

The Board of Directors will be subject to the rules and procedures outlined in the Treasury Board-approved Guidelines for Rates and Remuneration for Boards, Commissions and Agencies.

Once the province-wide Basic 911 service is operational, the City of St. John’s call-taking centre (Public Safety Answering Point) will handle 911 calls from the Avalon Peninsula, and the City of Corner Brook call-taking centre will handle calls from the remaining areas of the island portion of the province and Labrador.


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