The service that handles Metro Vancouver's 911 calls wants to remind people the emergency number is just for emergencies, and not for updates on traffic or the weather, or for general advice.
E-Comm spokesperson Jody Robertson says the service can't go a day without getting a strange call or two.
Recent nuisance calls have included people looking for a taxi, asking about traffic, looking for a weather forecast, or even asking how to program the voicemail on a cellphone.
"We've also had someone call to ask us if a specific store would honour returns without receipts," said Robertson.
"We do scratch our head and wonder... maybe people haven't quite caught on to the full purpose of 911," she said.
Operators were likely scratching their heads on Boxing Day when Burnaby RCMP had to issue a reminder to drivers waiting in the Metrotown Mall parking lot to stop calling the emergency service to complain about the traffic tie-ups.
Emergency resources diverted
Robertson says it can be frustrating for operators to field unnecessary calls, especially when their time could be better served responding to actual emergencies.
"These kinds of calls really do have the potential to tie up emergency resources — resources that are there helping people that are truly in need."
The vast majority of people use the service responsibly, but Robertson says it is still worth repeating that you should not use the 911 service for non-emergency calls.
"If your life is in jeopardy, if your safety, if your health, [or] your property [is at risk] or you see something like a crime in process — absolutely you need to call," says Robertson.
E-Comm handles emergency communications including radio and 911 calls for Metro Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast, and the Squamish and Whistler areas.
Last spring, E-Comm reported that operators also receive about 70,000 accidental calls a year, including about 200 a day thought to originate from cellphones in people's pockets or bags that are accidently activated.
On Thursday police in Chatham-Kent, On. released their own list of the silliest 911 calls they received, which included a 20-year-old who called police to complain that his dad was forcing him to brush his teeth.
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Joshua Basso, 32, called 911 to request female deputies be sent to his home for "sexual gratification." He was arrested on Aug. 24 and confessed to making the lewd phone calls.
Jarvis Sutton, 34, was arrested after calling 911 80 times in one day asking for a delivery of burgers, Kool-Aid and pot.
Police in Tampa, Fla., arrested Robert Hagerman for calling 911 on his daughter after she refused to buy him a beer.
He called 911 - TWICE - to report that his dreams were becoming a reality. Listen to his 911 calls.
Clyde Hobbs was arrested in May, 2012 for allegedly calling 911 at least 17 times -- to talk dirty to operators. He'd been arrested several times in the past for the same crime. When cops arrived to collar him, Hobbs asked, "Are you here to arrest me again?" <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/09/clyde-hobbs-called-911-to-talk-sex_n_1502536.html?1336569858" target="_hplink">Read more.</a>
Michael Barker called 911 repeatedly in Hudson, Fla. asking them to fetch him a taxi and saying that he lost his football. Cops arrested him for allegedly misusing the emergency system on Feb. 20, 2012. Read more <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/23/911-caller-wants-taxi-michael-barker-florida_n_1296979.html" target="_hplink">here.</a>
Everett Lages was arrested when he allegedly called 911 after he was not allowed to bring his kitten inside a strip club.
Rother McLennon of East Hartford, Conn., called 911 and complained that he "specifically asked for little turkey and little ham, a lot of cheese and a lot of mayonnaise," and the Grateful Deli in East Hartford got it wrong.
Weediculous 911 Calls
Calvin Hoover, a 21-year-old Oregonian, called 911 from his car to report his weed stolen. But it took the dispatcher a while to understand him because the allegedly drunk driver was vomiting on himself during the call. Colorado cannabis smoker James Farnsworth got what he wanted when he called 911 to report his ganja stolen. Officers arrested the alleged perp. What Farnsworth didn't expect is that cops would search him as well, find enough weed on him to label him a dealer, and arrest him on the spot. Detroit-area officer Edward Sanchez allegedly took some green he'd confiscated during an arrest he made, cooked it into a batch of brownies, and ate them with his wife. He got so blazed that he thought he was dying -- according to the tape -- and called 911 for an ambulance. "We made brownies," he told the dispatcher. "And I think we're dead. Time is going by really really really really slow."
John R. Pacella
John R. Pacella called 911 at 4 a.m. and told the operator he "wanted to see an officer because he wanted to fight with them." When police showed up at his door, he began pushing and shoving officers. He was promptly arrested.
Calling 911 by accident can make you feel like an ass, but now comes a study suggesting that nearly 40 percent of New York City's 911 calls were "butt dials."
Christian Luckett placed 10 calls to 911 to complain about his service at a Skyline Chili restaurant in Cincinnati, Ohio. Luckett was allegedly drunk when he called the police and demanded officers come to his home for a domestic disturbance -- but he was really just mad at Skyline Chili's. Cops arrested him at his apartment.
Doyle Hardwick is now behind bars after calling 911 complaining that his wife would not let him check Facebook in peace.