Police use Social Media to Educate Public on Unintentional and Non-Emergent 9-1-1 Calls

Peel Regional Police takes to social media in attempt to educate and reduce unintentional and non-emergent 9-1-1 calls.

On average, Peel Regional Police communicators answer about 30,000 9-1-1 calls every month, and of these, less than 60% are deemed as 9-1-1 emergencies. By reaching out to the public through social media outlets, such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube our goal is to educate the public on the proper use of 9-1-1. It is our hope that reducing improper and accidental 9-1-1 calls will ensure those in need of emergency services are able to get the help they require without unnecessary delay. 

Police services across Ontario are seeing an increase in unintentional and non-emergent 9-1-1 calls, which represent a serious threat to public safety and negatively impact on police resources.

For every unintentional 9-1-1 call received, an Emergency Services Communicator must determine whether an actual emergency exists. Every second counts when someone is waiting for an emergency communicator to pick up a 9-1-1 call and dispatch police, emergency medical services, or fire.

Peel Regional Police are taking a proactive role by contacting those persons responsible for unintentional 911 calls, with the intention of educating them on the potential risk to public safety that these calls can pose.

Following up on the province’s efforts to minimize inappropriate 911 calls, Peel Regional Police has created, and have released to the public, educational and Public Service Announcement videos (in several languages) to reinforce our message.

If you place an unintentional 9-1-1 call:

–          Stay on the line,

–          Be prepared to answer questions and,

–          Let the emergency operator know it was an unintentional call.

This will eliminate the need for the emergency operator to call back to determine if there is a legitimate emergency, saving precious seconds and allowing them to move on to the next emergency call.