NEWS RELEASE: Concert directions, traffic lights and nose rings make list of top nuisance 9-1-1 calls in 2023

B.C.’s largest emergency communications centre issues reminder on what constitutes an emergency call amidst record breaking year for calls to 9-1-1

Whether you’re waiting on a traffic light, demanding directions home from the Drake concert, or concerned about your lost nose ring, general questions and complaints do not belong on 9-1-1.

E-Comm, which handles 99 per cent of B.C.’s 9-1-1 call volume, has released its tenth annual list of nuisance calls. And with an increase of 13 per cent in call volume to 9-1-1 in 2023, the reminder to keep lines clear for emergency situations only has never been more critical.

“No matter how absurd a call might be on the surface, we have to treat every 9-1-1 call as an emergency, until we can confidently determine otherwise,” explains Alaina Milicevic, police call taker at E-Comm. “Every second we spend fielding questions about AirBnB reservations or complaints about UberEats orders, is time that could otherwise be dedicated to helping someone in a life-threatening emergency situation. We can’t help you with consumer complaints on 9-1-1, but reaching out to an appropriate customer service agent, or filing a report with the Better Business Bureau might help resolve your issue.”

Nuisance calls are a preventable problem and E-Comm is encouraging British Columbians to do their part by keeping 9-1-1 lines free for emergencies where immediate response is required from police, fire or ambulance.

Top 10 nuisance calls of 2023

  1. To ask for directions home from the Drake concert
  2. The traffic light was taking too long to turn green
  3. They lost a nose ring down the shower drain
  4. Their AirBnB host cancelled their reservation
  5. Their UberEats order was taking too long
  6. A burger joint wouldn’t let them in before opening
  7. They couldn’t find their cell phone
  8. To complain about a pothole
  9. Their McDonalds order was taking too long
  10. The barber gave them a bad haircut

Tips on proper use of 9-1-1

9‑1‑1 is for police, fire or medical emergencies when immediate action is required: someone’s health, safety or property is in jeopardy or a crime is in progress.

  • Know your location at all times
  • Don’t program 9‑1‑1 into any phone
  • If you call 9‑1‑1 accidentally, stay on the line and let us know
  • Lock and store your cellphone carefully to prevent accidental 9-1-1 calls
  • Do not text or tweet 9-1-1
  • Call takers cannot transfer your non-emergency call from 9-1-1, visit for a list of alternate resources for reporting non-emergency matters

E-Comm has handled more than 2.1 million 9-1-1 calls so far in 2023. Learn more at


Photo/Interview Opportunity

E-Comm invites the media to its Lower Mainland Emergency Communications Centre at 3301 East Pender Street on Friday December 29 from 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. for interview opportunities with a police call taker who can speak to their experience responding to nuisance 9-1-1 calls and the importance of protecting critical emergency resources.

Interviews must be confirmed in advance at [email protected]

Media contact
Kelly Furey
Media Relations Specialist
[email protected]

About E-Comm
E-Comm is the first point of contact for 9-1-1 callers in 25 regional districts in British Columbia and provides dispatch services for more than 70 police agencies and fire departments across the province. E‐Comm also owns and operates the largest multi‐jurisdictional, tri‐service, wide‐area radio network in the province used by police, fire and ambulance personnel throughout Metro Vancouver and parts of the Fraser Valley.