NEWS RELEASE: Heightened demand for 9-1-1 expected with hot summer weather ahead

With hot weather in the forecast, first responders are preparing for a busy weekend ahead, and E-Comm is asking British Columbians to help keep 9-1-1 lines free for emergencies only.

During summer months, emergency communications centres typically see more calls for service, with more people outdoors enjoying the sunshine at beaches, parks, patios and attractions.

Of those calls, hundreds will be made by mistake, and the impact can be detrimental as they take critical resources away from people in emergencies who need them the most.

“Our call-takers and dispatchers play a critical role in public safety, helping to connect the public with our first responder partners on the ground during an emergency situation,” says E-Comm 9-1-1’s Communications Manager Carly Paice. “The public can help us help keep 9-1-1 free for emergencies, by storing devices carefully to avoid accidental dials and staying on the line with 9-1-1 should you call in error. This allows our call takers to be able to quickly move on to assist with an emergency call.”

For more tips on preventing and knowing what to do if you call 9-1-1 in error, visit our website.

In addition to preventing pocket dials to 9-1-1, E-Comm has compiled a list of tips and resources to help you and your family stay safe through the warm weather ahead.

  • If you have health questions on heat-related symptoms, call 8-1-1 to speak with a public health nurse. If you, or someone else is in medical distress, call 9-1-1.
  • Elevated heat may increase risk of wildfire. To report a wildfire, unattended campfire, or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.
  • Follow information and updates about heat warnings via Emergency Info BC.
  • Spend time in air-conditioned spaces. Check with your local city services for information about cooling facilities.
  • Check in on vulnerable friends, family and neighbours.
  • Know your location, especially if you are camping, travelling, hiking or spending time in an area that is new to you. An exact address is always best, but landmarks and cross streets will also help us find you in an emergency.
  • Keep non-urgent matters off 9-1-1. If you need non-urgent help for the police (for example, you return from a day at the beach to find your car has been broken into) call your local 10-digit non-emergency number or file a report online. Visit to learn more.

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.

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Updated assets are available for download here.