E-Comm 9-1-1, the service that connects callers with police, fire, and ambulance crews across Vancouver Island and the lower mainland, has issued an apology for taking too long to answer non-emergency calls.
The dispatch service’s main priority is answering 911 calls, which means callers that require non-urgent assistance often spend long periods of time on hold.
“We want to thank residents for your patience and to apologize to anyone who has had to wait for an inordinate amount of time to speak with one of our hardworking call takers, who are on duty 24/7,” reads a statement from E-Comm.
According to the company, 73% of the 526,044 non-emergency calls they’ve received since January 1st 2019 have been answered in five minutes or less.
However, they are now working to try to reduce wait times by hiring more call takers to help with call volumes and introducing new processes to enhance non-emergency call-answer service.
In the meantime, the public is given the following tips:
- Non-emergency lines tend to experience the highest call volumes during traditional business hours (e.g. 9am-5pm) and especially during late afternoon rush hour. If possible, report your non-emergency police matter during off-peak hours to limit your wait time (early morning and evening tend to be less busy).
- If you call the non-emergency line and receive a recorded announcement advising all call takers are busy, remaining on the line will ensure your place in the queue is maintained. If you cannot wait and choose to hang up, please do not call back right away. Try calling later during off peak hours.
- Use other sources to find information/resolve issues that are not typical police matters, such as road conditions and closures, power outages, weather and local services.
Non-emergency lines Greater Victoria
- Oak Bay
- View Royal
- North Saanich
- Central Saanich
- Esquimalt/Songhees First Nation
- Cobble Hill