Scary spiders no 911 emergency: dispatchers

Callers dial for hockey scores or to complain of 'lousy' sandwich

E-Comm dispatcher taking 911 calls.

Do not dial 911 to ask dispatchers who won the hockey game.

And please, don’t call to report a broken TV as an emergency, or a big spider in your living room, no matter how scary it is.

Those are some of the nuisance 911 calls E-Comm spokesperson Jody Robertson says dispatchers must contend with regularly while trying to rapidly respond to real police, fire or medical emergencies.

The emergency dispatch centre for the Lower Mainland released a list of idiotic calls that should never have come to them.

One dialed 911 to complain about a “lousy tasting chicken sandwich” from a fast-food restaurant.

Another wanted police to make her daughter clean up her room.

Still another asked dispatchers if they knew if purchases could be returned to a certain store without a receipt on Boxing Day.

The list was released after what Robertson called the “very bizarre” spate of 911 calls from drivers in Burnaby stuck in a traffic jam at Metrotown mall on Boxing Day.

“The one that actually blew me away was the one where the fellow said he used 911 as his password for voicemail,” Robertson said. “So we were getting accidental calls from him repeatedly.”

Other cellphone users have asked how to configure voice mail settings or contact their cellular provider.

Robertson said people regularly call 911 to ask when power outages will end, when roads will be clear of snow after a storm and what day to adjust clocks for daylight savings time changes.

“911 is not an information line,” she said, urging people to use public information lines (such as BC Hydro’s for power updates) and non-emergency numbers for local police unless immediate action is required.

E-Comm answers nearly a million 911 calls each year for Metro Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast, Whistler, and Squamish.

About 100,000 calls per year – 10 per cent of the total – were made mistakenly, often from pocket dialing.

E-Comm recommends using keylocks, protective cass and not pre-programming 911 into phones to help cut down on the problem.

Just Posted

Lower Mainland could see spring flurries

Snow expected at higher elevations

Experts detect risk of rock avalanche above Bridal Falls near Chilliwack

Risk in the one-in-10,000-year is minimal but triggers FVRD to direct growth elsewhere

Auditors couldn’t tell if Fraser Health executives bought booze on taxpayers’ dime

Review from 2014 says one administrator bought Bose headphones on company credit card

Free parking not in the cards for Fraser Valley hospitals

Chair says board may look at ways to make parking easier, but not free

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

Harsher fines, new off-road vehicle rules in effect to combat B.C. wildfires

Anyone who starts a wildfire could be ordered to pay up to $1,000,000

Muddy water found in taps at B.C. hospital prompts investigation

Northern Health to hire consultant to examine three facilities for potential contamination

Lower Mainland based rabbit rescue pleads for foster homes

The Langley-centred Small Animal Rescue Society needs foster families to take new bunnies.

RCMP officer charged after pedestrian struck at crosswalk

A man suffered a broken leg and head lacerations after being struck by the police vehicle in 2017

B.C. gives tax breaks to jumpstart LNG in northwest

LNG income tax scrapped, break on sales tax for producers

BCHL Today: Wenatchee goes Wild against Vernon Vipers

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

B.C’s Indigenous tourism takes centre stage in Chilliwack

One-day workshop will look at ways to imbue the industry with authenticity

IIO seeks witness of fatality after Taser incident in Chilliwack

Police watchdog release image of Dodge Ram asking for driver/occupant to make contact

Most Read