Scary spiders no 911 emergency: dispatchers

Callers dial for hockey scores or to complain of 'lousy' sandwich

E-Comm dispatcher taking 911 calls.

Do not dial 911 to ask dispatchers who won the hockey game.

And please, don’t call to report a broken TV as an emergency, or a big spider in your living room, no matter how scary it is.

Those are some of the nuisance 911 calls E-Comm spokesperson Jody Robertson says dispatchers must contend with regularly while trying to rapidly respond to real police, fire or medical emergencies.

The emergency dispatch centre for the Lower Mainland released a list of idiotic calls that should never have come to them.

One dialed 911 to complain about a “lousy tasting chicken sandwich” from a fast-food restaurant.

Another wanted police to make her daughter clean up her room.

Still another asked dispatchers if they knew if purchases could be returned to a certain store without a receipt on Boxing Day.

The list was released after what Robertson called the “very bizarre” spate of 911 calls from drivers in Burnaby stuck in a traffic jam at Metrotown mall on Boxing Day.

“The one that actually blew me away was the one where the fellow said he used 911 as his password for voicemail,” Robertson said. “So we were getting accidental calls from him repeatedly.”

Other cellphone users have asked how to configure voice mail settings or contact their cellular provider.

Robertson said people regularly call 911 to ask when power outages will end, when roads will be clear of snow after a storm and what day to adjust clocks for daylight savings time changes.

“911 is not an information line,” she said, urging people to use public information lines (such as BC Hydro’s for power updates) and non-emergency numbers for local police unless immediate action is required.

E-Comm answers nearly a million 911 calls each year for Metro Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast, Whistler, and Squamish.

About 100,000 calls per year – 10 per cent of the total – were made mistakenly, often from pocket dialing.

E-Comm recommends using keylocks, protective cass and not pre-programming 911 into phones to help cut down on the problem.

Just Posted

Up-front price tag for new Abbotsford/Mission water source rises

Consultants suggest shifting $7 million in costs from project’s second stage

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

Ruskin Dam project complete, road re-opens over bridge

Bash on the Bridge celebration Saturday.

Abbotsford firefighters knock down house fire before it can spread

No one believed to be inside structure at the time of the fire on Clayburn Road Saturday morning

Inclusion walkway officially unveiled in Mission

Ceremony took place, despite a vandal’s attempt to ruin the walkway with white latex paint

Police say it’s “impressive” no arrests were made after Raptors celebrations

Toronto will play the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors next

Semis catch fire at wrecker off Highway 1 in west Abbotsford

Crews called to scene at around 2 p.m., finding up to six semis that had caught fire at the wrecker

Social media giants in hot seat as politicians consider regulations in Ottawa

Committee members will also grill representatives from Facebook, Twitter

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

The Chuckegg Creek fire is raging out of control about three kilometres southwest of the town

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Most Read