9-1-1 campaigns

9-1-1 centres are here 24/7 to help the public when they have an emergency. And we need the public's help to make service as fast and efficient as possible. That's why we're reaching out to the community with initiatives that are focused on three important issues that impact service: accidental 9-1-1 calls, non-emergency calls to 9-1-1 and knowing your location.

"Don't let non-emergencies compete with real ones"

In this campaign, we focus on the issue of non-emergency calls made to 9-1-1. In the video below we overlay two situations—one emergent and one not—in a dramatic way to drive home our message of not letting non-emergency calls get in the way of real ones.

If you need police assistance that is not of an emergency nature (e.g. more than 15 minutes have passed since the incident occurred, there are no injuries, the suspects are nowhere to be seen and their location is unknown), please use your local ten digit non-emergency numbers.  

To learn more about the specific non-emergency examples highlighted below, click on the images:

  • Non-emergency poster - Passport
  • Non-emergency poster - Bicycle
  • Non-emergency poster - Tire

Calling 9-1-1 for a non-emergency situation ties up important lifelines meant for people or property in immediate jeopardy or when there is a crime in progress. Watch/share the video below and help us keep 9-1-1 lines free for emergencies that require immediate action.


Don't let non-emergencies compete with real ones.

Find your local number and learn more.



See the ad again by refreshing your web browser.


"9-1-1 Culprits" Campaign

Our 9-1-1 Culprits campaign singles out the culprits in your purse and pockets that are the cause of hundreds of accidental 9-1-1 calls every day.

Get to know the culprits and find out how you can stop them:

The Key Chain Gang
Chap The Lipper Chap the Lipper - Public Educational Poster
The Bristler The Bristler - Public Educational Poster


Listen to real pocket dial audio below!
Vancouver 9-1-1 pocket dial audio
Richmond 9-1-1 pocket dial audio

Each time we receive an accidental 9-1-1 call resources are wasted and a lifeline is used. We need to ensure our lines are open for those experiencing real emergencies. Please help us prevent these calls – you can start by watching this video: 


"Tough call" Campaign

The campaign, accidental 9-1-1 calls are tough calls, is directed at cellphone users and aims to raise awareness of accidental calls to 9-1-1 and offers tips to avoid them.

Listen to our radio ads on accidental calls from cellphones, using two situations to describe what is and isn’t a “tough call.”

Listen to our radio ads!
Tough Call - Dad
Tough Call - Waiter

*Per ACTRA National Commercial Agreement-Local and Regional Addendum:

For reference only - do not download.*

Scan our "tough call" print ads on your smartphone with a QR code reader to see what's really happening in the images. No smartphone? Click on the image.

911 Emergency Accidental Calls Ad Poster

911 Emergency Accidental Calls Ad Poster

Read About 9-1-1 Tips Campaign

9-1-1 tips campaign

E-Comm receives hundreds of accidental calls every day and many calls to the 911 lines that are actually non-emergency in nature. We're equally concerned with people understanding the limitations of their cell phones when it comes to location technology. Contrary to popular belief, the current technology does not "pinpoint" a caller's location and so "knowing your location" is so important. In fact, callers are the best source of location information.

Accidental calls Know your location
Accidental calls Non-emergency calls
Transit Ad 1
Transit Ad 2
Transit Ad 3

Listen to our radio ads on the accidental calls, the difference between and emergency and non-emergency call and knowing your location when you dial 9-1-1.

Listen to our radio ads!
Hurry Up
Weed Whacker
Break and Enter

Read About 9-1-1 Tips Campaign

9-1-1 tips campaign

The four ads focus on three issues which have a significant affect on 9-1-1:

  • non-emergency calls
  • accidental calls
  • knowing your location

We've combined dramatic images and headlines with a friendly tips approach to help engage the public. People want to do the right thing; giving some tips to follow makes it easy to do so.

We decided to feature E-Comm staff in the new ads to emphasize that managing 9-1-1 calls is a partnership and in support of our public education brand "Help us help." We hope that you are more likely to get on board with our message and help us when you can put a face to the call-taker who is helping you.

Accidental calls Know your location
Accidental calls Non-emergency calls

Read About Accidental Calls

About accidental calls

We're asking cell-phone users NOT to program 9-1-1 into their phones and to be careful how and where they store their phone. By doing those two things, they'll avoid unintended and unnecessary calls to 9-1-1.

Getting people the help they need in emergencies is our business, but there are many ways our communities can help us do that more effectively.

We're reaching out to the public with messages and materials to increase awareness of issues that directly affect us and we have started with a campaign aimed at reducing the hundreds of unintended cell phone calls E-Comm receives every day.

Radio and newspaper messages remind cell phone users to be careful how they stow their mobile phones, which can easily dial 9-1-1 accidentally when stored in a purse, briefcase, backpack, or even a pocket.

With the prevalence of wireless technology, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of calls to 9-1-1 service from cell phones. Today, more than 50% of calls to E-Comm originate from cell phones.

Cell phones are a huge help in calling for emergency services, giving the public access to communication that didn't exist a few decades ago. The problem comes when 9-1-1 is accidentally dialed from a cell phone, most often without people even knowing it.

We're asking cell-phone users not to program 9-1-1 into their phones and to be careful how and where they stow their phone. By doing those two things, they'll avoid unintended and unnecessary calls to 9-1-1.

In addition, many older phones come with a 9-1-1 feature - simply by holding the #1 key, the phone will dial 9-1-1. Cell-phone users may not realize that their phone has this feature and that the keys can be accidentally depressed. Keyguards will not prevent a 9-1-1 call from proceeding. If your cell phone has been pre-programmed for 9-1-1 talk to your service provider about disengaging this feature.

Our call-takers receive hundreds of these "phantom" calls a day. Our 9-1-1 service is a lifeline that people depend on in emergencies, and accidental calls take valuable resources away from real emergency calls.

Listen to our radio ads on accidental 9-1-1 calls!
The Bus
The Car
The Lunch

Read About Knowing Your Location

About knowing your location

Real estate isn't the only place where location counts. For emergency services it is critical. In fact, it will be the first question police, fire or ambulance call-takers will ask.

Knowing your exact location is always important no matter which phone you use to call 9-1-1. But, if you are using a cell phone or internet phone, it's paramount.

In Canada, the only phones that provide exact address/location information to 9-1-1 centres are landlines (the wired phones found in homes and businesses).

Landline, Cellphone or VoIP ... How does your telephone choice affect the information supplied to 9-1-1?

Landline (Wireline phones)
In Canada, most emergency call centres operate with "Enhanced 9-1-1" service. What this means is that when someone dials 9-1-1 from a landline (a wired home or business telephone), the 9-1-1 call taker receives the name, the phone number and the address associated with that telephone. If for some reason the call is disconnected, a caller hangs up or cannot communicate their location, police can still be dispatched to the address to help. Remember that for many businesses, only the building address will be displayed. It's a good idea to always be aware of floor and suite numbers.

Cellular Phones
The information a 9-1-1 call-taker receives from a cellular phone is the phone number associated with the wireless device, the general location of the cell tower handling that call, and the general location of the caller.

When you make a 9-1-1 call on a cell phone, you are sending signals through the air. The tower that picks up your phone's signal mayor may not be near to where you are located. While this technology (Wireless Phase I) makes it possible for 9-1-1 call-takers to return the call if the wireless/cell signal is lost or interrupted, it doesn't provide specific information about the location of the caller. This is why it is critical for callers to provide their exact location to 9-1-1 call-takers as soon as they are asked for it.

In Canada, the CRTC required all wireless service providers to implement something called Wireless Phase II by February 1, 2010. This means wireless/cell phone service providers must supply both call-back numbers and better location information to 9-1-1 call centres. Although exact locations cannot be pinpointed through any wireless technology, Wireless Phase II provides a more focused and manageable search area by providing the latitude and longitude of the caller (to within 300 metres or less) if a caller cannot communicate or identify their exact location.

If you have a choice between using a landline phone or a cell phone to call 9-1-1, the landline is always your best choice. The connection is more secure and the location data is available to 9-1-1 call-takers automatically.

Common questions regarding Wireless Phase II (general location information from cell phones).

Listen to our radio ads on the importance of knowing where you are!
Break and Enter
Structure Fire
Suspicious Person


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