Emergency dispatchers received some unusual phone calls in 2016.

Stuck gym lockers, job queries top 2016 list of reasons to not call 911

Non-emergency calls can delay the response to a legitimate emergency

E-Comm’s 9-1-1 dispatchers are reaching out to the public with their top 10 examples of calls they received in 2016 that unnecessarily tied-up emergency lines.

Dispatchers Jim Beland and Chris Faris had the top two 911 nuisance calls of the year: a broken gym locker and someone enquiring about job opportunities with the police.

“I’d like to be able to say that calls such as the ones on our top ten list are rare, but unfortunately this isn’t the case,” said Beland.

“As call-takers our job is to treat each call like an emergency until we can determine otherwise, and this takes time. We want our time reserved for people who need help because they have a legitimate emergency.”

Faris added that a lot of people call 911 thinking it can be used as an information hotline.

“We get a lot of calls that start off with ‘this is not an emergency but…’ and that’s a concern when we know there are other people out there who need our help.”

2016 top reasons to not call 9-1-1:

1. Requesting help opening a broken gym locker

2. Enquiring about job opportunities for a family member interested in police work

3. Because an electric shaver would not turn off

4. Requesting a ladder to get a soccer ball off the roof

5. How best to get a drone down from a tree

6. Tired of waiting in traffic

7. “There’s a big spider in the bathroom”

8. Complaining they couldn’t get into a nightclub

9. Because their teenager refused to do chores

10. “Can you tell me what time it is?”

To learn more about when to call 911. visit ecomm911.ca



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