Vancouver, B.C.—E-Comm’s 9-1-1 call-takers are reaching out to the public today with their top ten examples of calls they received in 2016 that unnecessarily tied-up emergency lines.
Call-takers Jim Beland and Chris Faris had the top two 9-1-1 nuisance calls of the year: a broken gym locker and someone enquiring about job opportunities with the police.
“I’d like to be able to say that calls such as the ones on our top ten list are rare, but unfortunately this isn’t the case,” says Jim. “As call-takers our job is to treat each call like an emergency until we can determine otherwise, and this takes time. We want our time reserved for people who need help because they have a legitimate emergency.”
Chris Faris agrees. “Unfortunately, we do get a lot of people who call 9-1-1 thinking it can be used as an information hotline. We get a lot of calls that start off with ‘this is not an emergency but…’ and that’s a concern when we know there are other people out there who need our help.”
E-Comm receives approximately 1.35 million calls every year to 9-1-1 and any time a 9-1-1 line is taken up for a reason that does not require immediate action from emergency services, lives could be at risk.
2016 top reasons to not call 9-1-1:
1. Requesting help opening a broken gym locker
2. Enquiring about job opportunities for a family member interested in police work
3. Because an electric shaver would not turn off
4. Requesting a ladder to get a soccer ball off the roof
5. How best to get a drone down from a tree
6. Tired of waiting in traffic
7. “There’s a big spider in the bathroom”
8. Complaining they couldn’t get into a nightclub
9. Because their teenager refused to do chores
10. “Can you tell me what time it is?”
To learn more about when to call 9-1-1 visit ecomm911.ca—resources include non-emergency numbers for police, fire and ambulance, and free education materials available for order.
E-Comm is the largest 9-1-1 call centre in British Columbia, handling approximately 1.35 million emergency calls per year for 25 regional districts and communities spanning from Vancouver Island to Alberta and from the U.S. border, to north of Prince George. E-Comm also provides call-taking and dispatch services to 35 police and fire departments in southwest B.C.; and operates the largest multi-jurisdictional, tri-service emergency radio system in the province. For more information visit https://ecomm911.ca/.
Photo of Jim Beland, quoted in news release.
Portion of call-taker audio from top 9-1-1- nuisance call for 2016.
Portion of call-taker audio from second top 9-1-1 nuisance call for 2016.