NEWS
12/30/2013 01:03 EST | Updated 03/01/2014 05:59 EST

Top ten worst 9-1-1 calls for 2013

A list of 2013’s most absurd 9-1-1 emergency calls has been released by E-Comm, the regional emergency communication centre responsible for handling southwest B.C.

E-Comm 9-1-1 call-taker Matthew Collins took the worst call of the year when someone called 9-1-1 wanting to rent a fire truck for a street party.

"What people don’t realize is that when they call 9-1-1 for information or any other reason that is not an emergency, they’re tying up valuable resources that are meant to be at-the-ready for people who are in serious need of help,” said Collins in a statement released on Monday morning.

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 cellphone.

- “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.” 

Calls put others at risk

"More than 2,500 9-1-1 calls flow through E-Comm every day," said spokesperson Jody Robertson in a statement released on Monday morning.

"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 tweets its “9-1-1 head scratchers” every Friday and the year-end top-ten list was compiled based on Twitter response from followers and input from staff.

“Sadly, it was hard to narrow down our list of absurd reasons to call 9-1-1 to just ten,” added Robertson.

“We’re reaching out today to remind the public that 9-1-1 is not an information line, it’s a life-line. 9-1-1 call-takers cannot answers questions about power outages, when the clocks turn back or local or international events. Please use both 9-1-1 and the non-emergency lines responsibly.”

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