There are a lot of good reasons to call 911, but some people aren’t cracking the code of what makes a proper emergency call.
E-comm 911, which operates emergency dispatch in B.C., asked its call-taking staff each year what the least appropriate calls they get are and 2019 was a doozy.
Here’s a list of the wackiest 911 calls in B.C. this year:
- Their parking spot was too small
- The hair salon messed up their hairstyle
- Their neighbour was vacuuming late at night
- Being upset because the coin laundry machine didn’t have enough water
- To ask why traffic was so bad
- Asking police to bring a snow shovel to dig their car out of the snow in front of their house
- Complaining the police are being “too loud” when the respond to a nighttime emergency and asking them to come back in the morning
- To ask for information on water restrictions
- To report a broken ATM machine
- Because a gas station wouldn’t let them use the washroom
E-comm said the calls are not just funny, but could be dangerous because they take away time from people with real emergencies. The service received 1.6 million calls in 2019, and handles 99 per cent of the provinces 911 calls.
“Our staff must treat each call as an emergency until they are confident there isn’t one,” said corporate communications Jasmine Bradley.
“Although these calls may seem absurd at the surface, our call-takers must take the time to investigate each one to make sure there isn’t a real emergency before directing them elsewhere.”