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Best/Worst 911 calls of the year

The most ridiculous 9/11 calls of the year have been released by E-Comm – the regional emergency communication centre for southwest BC – and the results are just as zany as previous years.

The following results were submitted for your enjoyment, and as a way to draw attention to the ongoing problem of nuisance calls that tie up phone lines and switchboards used by emergency call operators.

E-Comm’s top-ten 9-1-1 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 9-1-1 to get their date’s contact information so they could confirm details of their plans.
  3. A caller phoned 9-1-1 to report a missed newspaper delivery.
  4. Caller asks 9-1-1 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. Caller dials 9-1-1 to activate voicemail on his cellphone.
  6. “I threw my phone into the garbage can and can't get it out.”
  7. Caller dials 9-1-1 to ask for a morning wake-up call.
  8. Caller dials 9-1-1 to ask 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.”

“More than 2,500 9-1-1 calls flow through E-Comm every day,” says spokesperson Jody Robertson. “Our teams are dedicated to helping to save lives and protect property. For them, having someone call 9-1-1 to ask for ‘the time of day’ is exasperating.

“Sadly, it was hard to narrow down our list of absurd reasons to call 9-1-1 to just ten,” adds Robertson.

“We’re reaching out today to remind the public that 9-1-1 is not an information line, it’s a life-line. 9-1-1 call-takers cannot answers questions about power outages, when the clocks turn back or local or international events. Please use both 9-1-1 and the non-emergency lines responsibly.”

E-Comm tweets its “9-1-1 head scratchers” every Friday and the top-ten list was compiled based on Twitter response from followers and input from staff.

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