When your kids don’t want to go to bed or won’t give up the TV remote, it is annoying, but it’s not an emergency.
When the newspaper is missing from the doorstep in the morning, it is disappointing, but no one’s life is at risk.
If you need a wake up call or your cellphone is stuck in the garbage, it’s a hassle, but it definitely does not warrant a call to 9-1-1.
Apparently, some people think these are appropriate reasons for calling the emergency line, E-Comm, the regional emergency communication centre for southwest B.C. reports in its 2013 list of the most absurd reasons to call 9-1-1.
“What people don’t realize is that when they call 9-1-1 for information or any other reason that is not an emergency, they’re tying up valuable resources that are meant to be at-the-ready for people who are in serious need of help,” said E-Comm 911 call-taker Matthew Collins.
The emergency line is intended only for calls involving police, fire, or medical emergencies that require immediate action because someone’s health, safety, or property is in jeopardy or a crime is in progress.
If that’s not the case, your call to 9-1-1 is just a nuisance.
“9-1-1 is not an information line, it’s a lifeline. 9-1-1 call-takers cannot answers questions about power outages, when the clocks turn back or local or international events,” said E-Comm spokeswoman Jody Robertson.
E-Comm’s top-ten 9-1-1 nuisance calls for 2013:
1. A caller phoned 9-1-1 to ask 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. A caller asked 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. A caller dials 9-1-1 to activate voicemail on his cellphone.
6. A caller phones 9-1-1 and says, “I threw my phone into the garbage can and can’t get it out.”
7. A caller dials 9-1-1 to ask for a morning wake-up call.
8. A caller dials 9-1-1 to ask how to call the operator.
9. A caller calls 9-1-1- to ask, “Can an officer come over to tell my kids to go to bed?”
10. A caller phones 9-1-1 and says, “My son won’t give me the remote control.”