We all hope that we’ll never have to be faced with a situation where we have to call 9-1-1, but it’s nice to know that emergency responders are on hand if ever the poop hits the fan.
But it seems like some BC residents need a little refresher on what an emergency actually is after E-Comm released their list of the most ridiculous 9-1-1 calls from the past 12 months.
After all, a broken gym locker can be annoying, but it’s hardly worth bothering the emergency services over. And while we can all sympathize with someone who’s tired of waiting in Vancouver traffic, we’re not sure we’ve ever been so fed up that we’d actually call the cops.
And those are just some of the more mundane nuisance calls from this year’s countdown.
Call-takers Jim Beland and Chris Faris were on the other end of the line for some of this year’s most head-scratching “emergency” calls.
“I’d like to be able to say that calls such as the ones on our top 10 list are rare, but unfortunately this isn’t the case,” Beland said. “As call-takers our job is to treat each call like an emergency until we can determine otherwise, and this takes time. We want our time reserved for people who need help because they have a legitimate emergency.”
Faris agrees. “Unfortunately, we do get a lot of people who call 9-1-1 thinking it can be used as an information hotline. We get a lot of calls that start off with ‘this is not an emergency but…’ and that’s a concern when we know there are other people out there who need our help.”
E-Comm receives approximately 1.35 million calls every year to 9-1-1 and any time a 9-1-1 line is taken up for a reason that does not require immediate action from emergency services, lives could be at risk.