911 is the line that should be reserved solely for police, fire or medical emergencies when immediate action is needed.
E-Comm, B.C.’s largest emergency communications centre, receives approximately 1.36 million calls every year.
Each year the centre releases a list of the worst calls of the year.
Jody Robertson, E-Comm’s executive director of corporate communications, said in a release that the list, while funny, shows that some people believe 911 can be used as a customer complaint or general information service, when it should be reserved solely for emergency situations.
The 10 worst 911 calls of 2017
1. Complaining a salon wouldn’t change nail polish colour
2. Car refusing to move forward at a gas station pump
3. Reporting food was inedible and restaurant refused to provide refund
4. Complaining tenant moved without returning keys
5. Calling because someone parked in their parking spot
6. Wondering if a washroom closed sign at a popular beach was legitimate
7. Complaining a gas station wouldn’t accept coins for payment
8. Calling to ask if raccoons are dangerous animals
9. Asking if there’s a law preventing washing clothes at 6 a.m.
10. Calling to check the time following the fall time change.
Robertson says, “None of the items on our list is a police matter.”
“We just want to remind people that every time it’s not used responsibly, somebody could be in jeopardy of not getting through, and that’s the last thing we want.”
E-Comm call-taker Christie Duncan fielded the call about the nail polish.She said, “Spending time on calls like these takes me away from being available to help someone who is a serious emergency situation.”