Don’t be that person! British Columbia’s largest emergency dispatch and 911 call centre released a list of the top calls that shouldn’t have been placed to 9-1-1 in 2015.
“We want to remind people about what’s at risk when 9-1-1 is used as an information line or for other reasons that do not meet the test of a true emergency: A police, fire or medical situation that requires immediate action because someone’s health, safety, or property is in jeopardy or a crime is in progress,” explains Jody Robertson, E-Comm’s director of corporate communications.
E-Comm takes nearly 3,400 9-1-1 calls every day. Robertson says while the majority of people use 9-1-1 responsibly, calls like the ones on this year’s top ten list waste valuable emergency resources by tying up 9-1-1 call-takers’ time.
This year’s top reason not to call 9-1-1? Requesting the number for a local tire dealership.
“My job is to treat every call as an emergency, no matter how illogical it may seem on the surface,” says E-Comm 9-1-1 call-taker Harrison Kwan, recipient of this year’s top nuisance call.
“We are trained to ask questions in case a caller is in distress and can’t speak freely. It’s only when I’m completely satisfied that the call is not a real emergency that I can disconnect and go back to answering other 9-1-1 calls. And that takes time.”
2015 top ten reasons to not call 9-1-1:
- Requesting the number for a local tire dealership
- Reporting an issue with a vending machine
- Asking for the non-emergency line
- Because a car parked too close to theirs
- “My son won’t put his seatbelt on”
- Coffee shop is refusing to refill coffee
- Asking if it’s okay to park on the street
- “My roommate used my toothbrush”
- Asking for help getting a basketball out of a tree
- Reporting that their building’s air system is too loud and they can’t sleep