The largest 911 call centre in B.C. has released its annual list of the top 10 worst reasons to call the emergency number.
- Wi-Fi at a local coffee shop isn't working.
- "What's the fine for jaywalking?"
- Pizza not fresh; wants a replacement slice.
- "What's the number for my travel agency?"
- Caller phoned 911 to ask for a taxi referral.
- "Is today a stat holiday?"
- Food they ordered is cold.
- Wants help finding lost glasses.
- Home internet is not working.
- "What's the date today?"
E-Comm handles an average of 2,600 calls a day for Metro Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast, Squamish-Lillooet Regional District, Northern Vancouver Island and parts of the Interior. It also handles dispatch services in Metro Vancouver.
Spokeswoman Jody Robertson said even though the calls may seem funny afterwards, they take up operators' valuable time when someone else facing a real emergency might be waiting to talk to a 911 operator.
"Our staff are trained to treat every call that comes through our centre as a valid emergency, until they determine otherwise, no matter what the circumstance," Robertson said.
"Even if the reason for the call seems absurd on the surface, 911 call-takers need to take time to determine exactly what's going on and whether someone genuinely needs help. Calls about internet access and cold food are a serious drain on emergency resources."