A list of 2013’s most absurd 911 emergency calls has been released by E-Comm, the regional emergency communication centre responsible for handling southwest B.C.
E-Comm 911 call-taker Matthew Collins took the worst call of the year when someone called 911 wanting to rent a fire truck for a street party.
"What people don’t realize is that when they call 911 for information or any other reason that is not an emergency, they’re tying up valuable resources that are meant to be at-the-ready for people who are in serious need of help,” said Collins in a statement released on Monday morning.
E-Comm’s top-ten 911 nuisance calls for 2013:
- “I'd like to speak to someone about renting a fire truck to block off a street for a party."
- A caller phoned 911 to get their date’s contact information so they could confirm details of their plans.
- A caller phoned 911 to report a missed newspaper delivery.
- Caller asks 911 if they can get the 'OK' to drive in the HOV lane because “traffic is backed up and they are late for an important meeting.”
- Caller dials 911 to activate voicemail on his cellphone.
- “I threw my phone into the garbage can and can't get it out.”
- Caller dials 911 to ask for a morning wake-up call.
- Caller dials 911 to ask how to call the operator.
- “Can an officer come over to tell my kids to go to bed?”
- “My son won’t give me the remote control.”
Calls put others at risk
"More than 2,500 911 calls flow through E-Comm every day," said spokesperson Jody Robertson in a statement released on Monday morning.
"Our teams are dedicated to helping to save lives and protect property. For them, having someone call 911 to ask for ‘the time of day’ is exasperating."
E-Comm tweets its “911 head scratchers" every Friday and the year-end top-ten list was compiled based on Twitter responses from followers and input from staff.
“Sadly, it was hard to narrow down our list of absurd reasons to call 911 to just ten,” added Robertson.
“We’re reaching out today to remind the public that 911 is not an information line, it’s a life-line. 911 call-takers cannot answers questions about power outages, when the clocks turn back or local or international events.
Please use both 911 and the non-emergency lines responsibly.”