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'Can I rent a fire truck?' E-Comm releases top 10 list of absurd 911 calls

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December 30, 2013 - 12:02 PM

VANCOUVER - Emergency operators at E-Comm, the regional communications centre for southwestern B.C., handle nearly one million calls every year, and some of those exchanges are now highlighted a top ten list of nuisance calls for 2013.

Spokeswoman Jody Robertson says the man who wanted to rent a fire truck to close off his street for a block party tops the list of callers failing to grasp that 911 is reserved for anyone whose health, safety or property is at immediate risk.

She says it was hard to narrow the list to just 10, but other absurd calls range from the person seeking a wake-up call to the newshound whose paper was not delivered on time.

More examples include parents who requested a police officer come to the house to tell the kids to go to bed or hand over the remote control.

Robertson says children as young as three have successfully called 9-1-1 to save the life of an ill or injured caregiver and staff at E-Comm are mystified why adults are still confused about the purpose of the three digit emergency line.

She says callers must understand that 911 is not an information line, it's a lifeline.

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.”

Credit: Youtube: LiquidGenerationTube
Crazy 911 calls from across North America

News from © The Canadian Press, 2013
The Canadian Press

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