Trouble parking your car no reason to call 911 in B.C. | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Trouble parking your car no reason to call 911 in B.C.

Call taker Chelsea Brent is pictured in this undated photo submitted by E-Comm.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / E-Comm
December 30, 2019 - 9:25 AM

There’s a growing trend that has people calling 9-1-1 to get information rather than to report an emergency, according to E-Comm that has been monitoring the misuse of the emergency call system in B.C. since 2013.

“Sometimes, it feels like people may have forgotten that the reason to call 9-1-1 is to get help in a life or death situation,” Chelsea Brent, the call taker who handled the number one call on this year’s list, said in a news release.

“I take a lot of 9-1-1 calls where ‘I know this isn’t an emergency’ are the first words out of the caller’s mouth. But when I’m answering calls that aren’t an emergency, it means I’m not available for someone else who really does need critical help.”

Her call was from someone complaining about their hotel parking stall being too small.

The rest of the Top 10 nuisance calls were:

2. To complain hair salon didn’t style their hair properly
3. To complain their neighbour was vacuuming late at night
4. Because they were upset the coin laundry machine didn’t have enough water
5. To enquire why traffic was so bad
6. To request police bring a shovel to dig their car out of the snow in front of their house
7. Because police are being ‘too loud’ responding to an emergency and requesting that they should come back in the morning
8. To get information about water restrictions
9. To report a broken ATM machine
10. Because a gas station wouldn’t let them use the washroom

E-Comm is responsible for answering 99 per cent of B.C.’s 9-1-1 calls and fielded 1.6 million calls this year.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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