(E-Comm Vancouver Island)

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.

See also: Lost Thetis Lake hiker found hours after ignoring 911 dispatcher instructions

“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.

See also: Province expands mental healthcare support for nurses, healthcare assistants, and 911 operators

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

  • Victoria
    Police: 250-995-7654
    Fire: 250-384-1122
  • Saanich
    Police: 250-475-4321
    Fire: 250-475-5500
  • Oak Bay
    Police: 250-592-2424
    Fire: 250-592-9121
  • View Royal
    Police: 250-474-2264
    Fire: 250-479-7322
  • Langford
    Police: 250-474-2264
    Fire: 250-478-7770
  • Colwood
    Police: 250-474-2264
    Fire: 250-478-8321
  • Highlands
    Police: 250-474-2264
    Fire: 250-479-1814
  • Metchosin
    Police: 250-474-2264
    Fire: 250-478-1307
  • North Saanich
    Police: 250-656-3931
    Fire: 250-656-1931
  • Central Saanich
    Police: 250-652-4441
    Fire: 250-544-4238
  • Sooke
    Police: 250-642-5241
    Fire: 250-642-5422
  • Esquimalt/Songhees First Nation
    Police: 250-474-2264
    Fire: 250-414-7126
  • Cobble Hill
    Police: 250-743-5514
    Fire: 250-743-5563