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

Fixing Abbotsford’s bus system means cutting some services first, council told

Planners say increasing reliability requires service cuts until new buses arrive in 2020

Purple Day supports epilepsy awareness

Event on March 26 includes walk/run in Abbotsford

Your daily commute and weather forecast: Mar. 22, 2019

Mostly clear sailing in today’s commute. Rain to start this evening, continuing in showers tomorrow

UFV introduces first mindfulness graduate program in Canada

Most of the University of the Fraser Valley program is offered online

How will changes to Abbotsford’s bus system affect you?

Ten different routes will see changes this summer as the city’s transit system gets an overhaul

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

Surrey RCMP investigate alleged assault that may have been a ‘driver dispute’

Police say a vehicle fled the scene after an alleged assault this morning at 96th Avenue and 152nd Street

Second case of measles reported in the B.C. Interior

Case is connected to an earlier measles case in 100 Mile House

Police watchdog investigating after man falls out third-storey window in Vancouver

The man fell to the ground and was taken to hospital with serious injuries

Cheetahs will not prosper in Creston: Permit rejected for two big cats

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

GM announces jobs, electric vehicle after Trump criticism

The company says it will spend $300 million at its plant in Orion Township

Trucker who caused Broncos crash likely to be deported: lawyer

The Crown has asked that Sidhu serve 10 years in prison

China chemical plant blast kills 47, injures hundreds more

This is one of China’s worst industrial accidents in recent years

Montreal priest stabbed while celebrating morning mass

The incident happened Friday morning at Montreal’s St. Joseph’s Oratory

Most Read