Saskatchewan

Hello, 911, is a potato a weapon?: Sask. RCMP releases annual list of worst 'emergency' calls

One person called 911 to report that their fiancé was not helping with wedding planning. 

One person reported fiancé for not helping with wedding planning

Sask. RCMP have released the latest list of calls that should not have gone to 911. (Dan Taekema/CBC)

Saskatchewan RCMP's annual #ReasonsToNotCall911 campaign rolled out this week.

The goal of the annual list is to remind people when they should call the emergency number — by highlighting situations where calling 911 is not appropriate.

One 2019 caller wanted to know whether a potato would be considered a weapon in a fight. 

Another person called 911 to report that their fiancé was not helping with wedding planning.

Other highlights included: 

  • Someone reporting that their "personal intimate device" had been taken, but that the thief had left the container behind.
  • A person inquiring whether throwing a pickle at someone would get them arrested. 
  • Someone asking 911 to pick up their medication because they could not reach their pharmacy over the telephone. 
  • A woman who called 911 and asked them to come help her reach something from the top shelf in her home. 
  • One person found a "quite large insect" in their toilet. They called 911 to have RCMP help them remove it. 

RCMP spokesperson Rob King said that while some of these calls may be funny, they clog up the lines — which could mean trouble when actual life-threatening situations happen.

"All of the things that we include in our list were not actual emergencies. In fact, most of [them] aren't even police matters," King said. 

"Every phone call that comes in, it takes time. Even if you determine right away that it's not something important, you may be on the phone with someone for three, four or five or 10 minutes. So that's taking time away." 

RCMP want to remind citizens that 911 is only for life-threatening emergencies.

For other complaints or non-emergency matters, you can also call 311 to make a report to your local RCMP detachment.

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