VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Even emergency dispatchers have their own year-end Top 10 list — but the winners have very little to be proud of.
Although there are great reasons to call 9-1-1, dispatchers get some calls that just shouldn’t be made.
“Someone called 9-1-1 because they wanted to rent a fire truck for their community party. They thought it would be a great idea to use it to block off streets,” says Jody Robertson with E-Comm in Vancouver, as an example of one of the many absurd calls they received in 2013.
Based on the calls she hears about, common sense isn’t all the common.
“[There are] morning wake-up calls… and [people who] dial 9-1-1 to ask how to dial the operator,” she describes. “This one is a particular head scratcher to me: Someone who was late for a meeting dials 9-1-1 to ask if they can get permission to use the HOV lane just this one time because they didn’t want to be late.”
There was even a request to have an officer come over to tell the kids to go to bed.
E-Comm reminds people both the 9-1-1 and non-emergency lines must be used responsibly.
“More than 2,500 9-1-1 calls flow through E-Comm every day,” notes 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.”
E-Comm’s top-ten 9-1-1 nuisance calls for 2013:
“I’d like to speak to someone about renting a fire truck to block off a street for a party.”
A caller phoned 9-1-1 to get their date’s contact information so they could confirm details of their plans.
A caller phoned 9-1-1 to report a missed newspaper delivery.
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.”
Caller dials 9-1-1 to activate voicemail on his cell phone.
“I threw my phone into the garbage can and can’t get it out.”
Caller dials 9-1-1 to ask for a morning wake-up call.
Caller dials 9-1-1 to ask how to call the operator.
“Can an officer come over to tell my kids to go to bed?”
“My son won’t give me the remote control.”