You might not be surprised about how many people phone emergency services for the wrong reasons – but these reasons are pretty weird.
The largest 9-1-1 call centre in BC, E-Comm, revealed its top 10 nuisance calls for 2017 in a news release on Thursday.
Staff there handle roughly 1.36 million emergency calls per year for Metro Vancouver, Vancouver Island, and around BC.
Unbelievably, one of those calls was about the fact that a nail salon wouldn’t change someone’s nail polish colour.
E-Comm’s Christie Duncan fielded this call and noted it’s just one example of the types of calls staff receive every day that can tie up the 9-1-1 lines.
“Spending time on calls like these takes me away from being available to help someone who is a serious emergency situation,” said Duncan in a news release.
“And believe it or not, this isn’t the first time I’ve received a call about the colour of nail polish.”
E-Comm’s 2017 list of top 10 reasons to not call 9-1-1:
- Complaining a salon wouldn’t change nail polish colour
- Car refusing to move forward at a gas station pump
- To report food was inedible and restaurant refusing to provide refund
- Complaining tenant moved without returning keys
- Calling because someone parked in their parking spot
- Wondering if a washroom closed sign at a popular beach was legitimate
- Complaining gas station wouldn’t accept coins for payment
- Calling to ask if raccoons are dangerous animals
- Asking if there’s a law preventing washing clothes at 6 am
- Calling to check the time following the fall time change
Jody Robertson, executive director of corporate communications, said it seems some people are using 9-1-1 as “a customer complaint or general information service.”
“While these calls are absurd, they’re more common than you might think,” said Robertson, in the release.
“The fact is – every time a 9-1-1 call taker handles one of these calls, we waste valuable resources.
“We’re asking the public to help us help. Non-emergency lines are for important police matters. None of the items on our list is a police matter.”