Top 10 absurd 9-1-1 calls made in B.C. in 2014


It can be terribly frustrating and stressful when you can’t connect to the internet, but unless it’s given you a heart attack, you probably shouldn’t call 9-1-1. Apparently, many people across B.C. don’t quite understand the purpose of our emergency number, and have been dialing in with complaints ranging from no internet to cold pizza and help finding a taxi ride.

Understandably irritated by this misuse of emergency services, E-Comm (the largest 9-1-1 call centre in B.C.) has issued a list of the top ten reasons not to call 9-1-1.

“We hope our message that 9-1-1 call-takers cannot answer questions about how long power outages will last, when the clocks turn back, or other non-emergency questions, will help reduce these kinds of calls and keep the lines open for real emergencies,” says E-Comm spokesperson Jody Robertson.

While the majority of people use our emergency services responsibly, too many of the 2600 calls E-Comm fields per day do not meet the test of a real emergency.

In case you need a refresher, a real emergency is: a police, fire or medical situation that requires immediate action because someone’s health, safety, or property is in jeopardy or a crime is in progress.

Sorry, your stale pizza doesn’t count, no matter how ‘hangry’ you are.

Based on examples of real phone calls E-Comm received in 2014, here are their top 10 reasons not to call 9-1-1.

Top 10 reasons not to call 9-1-1

1. Wi-Fi at a local coffee shop isn’t working

2. “What’s the fine for jay walking?”

3. Pizza not fresh; wants a replacement slice

4. “What’s the number for my travel agency?”

5. Caller phoned 9-1-1 to ask for a taxi referral

6. “Is today a stat holiday?”

7. Food they ordered is cold

8. Wants help finding lost glasses

9. Home Internet is not working

10. “What’s the date today?”


Featured Image: 911 phone call via Shutterstock

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Jill Slattery Jill Slattery was born and raised in Vancouver, where she also earned an Arts degree from UBC in English and Creative Writing. She is an avid TV-watcher and a shameless Taylor Swift fangirl. Jill is a Staff Writer at Vancity Buzz. Contact her at

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