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Stupid 911 Calls Need To Stop: Edmonton Police

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milindri via Getty Images
milindri via Getty Images

Edmonton police say some of the calls they get for 911 are so ridiculous, they are launching a campaign reminding citizens of when NOT to phone the emergency line.

They say one of the worst ones was a call from a driver at West Edmonton Mall who had nosed his vehicle part-way into a parking stall and was annoyed another woman wouldn't give up challenging him for the spot.

Christine Lyseng, the supervisor of Edmonton's 911 call centre, says people have actually called about late or non-existent pizza delivery.

Listen to the 911 caller who was mad about a parking spot

Then there was the woman who wanted a police officer to check out the noise her fireplace was making, and the woman who asked police to send someone to help her move because she didn't have a car.

Lyseng says Edmonton police get roughly one million calls a year.

Of those, 40 per cent are through 911 and 40 per cent of those are bogus.

"It never fails, Murphy's Law,'' she says. "When operators are just finishing up from one of these non-emergent calls then they get the one where someone's having a heart attack or there's been a serious car accident, a roll over, or a condo fire something like that.''


Insp. Graham Hogg says nuisance calls are no laughing matter.

"If they're tied up with a non-appropriate, non-emergency call it takes time away from what they should be doing,'' he says.

Hogg also has advice for people who dial 911 by accident and then hang up. The operator will call them back.

"If that does happen, please don't feel embarrassed, it happens to all of us,'' he says. "Please answer it, (say) that it was a mistake and the operator will cancel the call. But they have to verify each and every single one of them.''

(CHED)

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