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Operators list most ‘absurd’ 911 calls 0

By Chris Campbell, 24 hours

So-called “nuisance” calls to 911 operators reduce response times for real emergencies.
(FILE PHOTO/QMI AGENCY)

So-called “nuisance” calls to 911 operators reduce response times for real emergencies. (FILE PHOTO/QMI AGENCY)

A list of the most “jaw-dropping” calls to the region’s 911 service in 2013 was released Monday to raise awareness about the importance of only calling this number in case of a real emergency.

E-Comm — the regional emergency communication centre for southwest B.C. — released its list of 2013’s “most absurd reasons” to call the emergency line. The list was compiled from submissions from 911 operators, who receive more than 2,500 calls each day.

“For them, having someone call 911 to ask for ‘the time of day’ is exasperating,” E-Comm spokeswoman Jody Robertson said in a news release.

E-Comm listed what it considers the 10 worst “nuisance” calls for 2013:

1. “I'd like to speak to someone about renting a fire truck to block off a street for a party.”

2. A caller phoned to get their date’s contact information so they could confirm details of their plans.

3. A caller phoned to report a missed newspaper delivery.

4. A caller asked 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.”

5. A caller wanted to activate voicemail on his cellphone.

6.“I threw my phone into the garbage can and can't get it out.”

7. A caller requested a morning wake-up call.

8. A caller asked how to call the operator.

9. “Can an officer come over to tell my kids to go to bed?”

10. “My son won’t give me the remote control.”

“Sadly, it was hard to narrow down our list of absurd reasons to call 911 to just 10,” said Robertson. “We’re reaching out today to remind the public that 911 is not an information line, it’s a lifeline.” 

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