E-Comm’s 911 dispatchers are reaching out to the public with their top 10 examples of calls they received in 2017 that unnecessarily tied-up emergency lines.
And the one the tops this year’s list: Calling the emergency line to complain that a nail salon won’t change a nail polish colour.
That call, fielded by Christie Duncan is just one example of the non-emergency calls plaguing B.C.’s largest call centre.
“Spending time on calls like these takes me away from being available to help someone who is a serious emergency situation,” Duncan said.
“And believe it or not, this isn’t the first time I’ve received a call about the colour of nail polish.”
Other 2017 top reasons to not call 911 include:
2. Car refusing to move forward at a gas station pump
3. To report food was inedible and restaurant refusing to provide refund
4. Complaining tenant moved without returning keys
5. Calling because someone parked in their parking spot
6. Wondering if a washroom closed sign at a popular beach was legitimate
7. Complaining gas station wouldn’t accept coins for payment
8. Calling to ask if raccoons are dangerous animals
9. Asking if there’s a law preventing washing clothes at 6 a.m.
10. Calling to check the time following the fall time change
This year’s best-of-the-worst may be laughable, but are more common than you might think, said Jody Robertson, executive director of corporate communications.
“The fact is – every time a 911 call taker handles one of these calls, we waste valuable resources. We’re asking the public to help us help,” Robertson said.
The list follows a new campaign by the emergency communications centre, that found one-in-five calls for police aren’t actually an emergency. The campaign is urging B.C. residents to consider how they may be letting non-emergency calls get in the way of real ones.
E-Comm receives approximately 1.36 million calls every year, and Robertson is reminding the public that 911 is for police, fire or medical emergencies when immediate action is needed and calling non-emergency lines for calls like this is also not appropriate.