911 call centres undoubtedly deal with a deluge of calls that aren't actually emergencies.
But even for them, some calls really stand out.
E-Comm, B.C.'s largest 911 call centre, released a list of 2017's top reasons not to call 911 —based on actual calls they've received — that is hilarious and baffling in equal measure.
So without further ado, please do not call 911 for the following reasons:
- To complain that a salon won't change your nail polish colour.
- To say a car is refusing to move forward at a gas pump.
- To report that a restaurant won't give you a refund for food that is inedible.
- To complain that your tenant moved out without giving back their keys.
- To say that someone else parked in your parking spot.
- To ask if a sign that says a washroom is closed at the beach is legitimate.
- To complain that a gas station won't take coins as payment.
- To inquire about whether raccoons are dangerous animals.
- To ask if it's illegal to wash clothes at 6 a.m.
- To double check the time after daylight saving time ends in the fall.
It's important to remember that calling 911 with nuisance calls can tie up lines and make it harder for people to get in touch with dispatchers.
"Spending time on calls like these takes me away from being available to help someone who is a serious emergency situation," Christie Duncan, an E-Comm call-taker, said. "And believe it or not, this isn't the first time I've received a call about the colour of nail polish."
The 911 line is not a customer service or general information resource. It's a line for police, fire and medical emergencies.
"While these calls are absurd, they're more common than you might think. The fact is – every time a 911 call-taker handles one of these calls, we waste valuable resources. We're asking the public to help us help," Jody Robertson, E-Comm's executive director of corporate communications, said.
E-Comm, which handles approximately 1.36 million calls a year, has a guide to help you figure out if you're dealing with an emergency. Please use it.
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