E-Comm urges British Columbians to help keep 9-1-1 lines free for emergencies this Halloween
Emergency service providers are preparing for a busy weekend with Halloween on the horizon and E-Comm is asking the public to help keep 9-1-1 lines free for emergencies only.
In 2022, E-Comm received over 17,000 9-1-1 calls the weekend leading up to Halloween, an increase of 10% more than an average weekend in October that year—and an even busier Halloween is expected ahead, with the emergency communications centre reporting an overall 17 per cent increase in 9-1-1 calls in 2023 year-to-date over the same period last year.
Although Halloween falls on a Tuesday this year, increased demand for 9-1-1 is expected from October 27 to 29 and on October 31. Extra resources are in place with additional staff scheduled to help respond to the increased call volumes, however E-Comm is appealing to the public to help ensure the appropriate use of emergency resources by following these five tips:
- Prevent pocket dials to 9-1-1 by storing your phone carefully. If you do call 9-1-1 by accident, stay on the line so that our call takers can ensure you are safe.
- Whether you are out trick-or-treating with your children or celebrating with friends, be aware of your location in case you need to call 9-1-1. An exact address is always best, but cross streets and major landmarks will also help us find you.
- E-Comm receives an increase of noise and fireworks-related calls each year. Noise and fireworks complaints should be directed to your local city bylaws service, or police non-emergency line. In Vancouver, call 3-1-1.
- Use 9-1-1 responsibly for police, fire or medical emergencies where someone’s health, safety or property is in imminent danger. 9-1-1 call takers cannot transfer callers to the non-emergency phone number.
- With many callers reporting noise complaints, higher call volumes are also expected on the non-emergency lines. Please consider creating a police report online if possible. Learn more at ca
“Our call takers and dispatchers will be working around the clock this Halloween weekend, connecting the public with emergency services across the province, whether it be police, ambulance or fire services,” says Carly Paice, E-Comm Communications Manager. “With the anticipated high call volume, public assistance plays a key role in keeping 9-1-1 lines clear for emergency situations only, and directing other non-emergency concerns through the proper channels or online reporting systems.”
Want to learn more? Follow @ecomm911_info on Twitter for live-updates from 9:00pm-11:00pm on Friday, Oct. 27. Stay safe and have a happy Halloween. Stay safe and have a happy Halloween.
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.