E-Comm dispatcher Rachelle Carlow at the new South Island 9-1-1 E-Comm Centre in Saanich. (Black Press Media file photo)

E-Comm dispatcher Rachelle Carlow at the new South Island 9-1-1 E-Comm Centre in Saanich. (Black Press Media file photo)

Kids drawing with chalk among B.C.’s most ridiculous 911 calls of 2022

Dispatchers also heard from callers with car troubles and someone who got their phone stuck in a bench

Children drawing with chalk at the playground may sound like an innocent enough activity, even wholesome to some, but for one British Columbian last year, it was simply unacceptable.

They’re among a notable group of people who made E-Comm’s list of top 10 nuisance 911 calls from 2022.

Other ridiculous reasons for emergency calls included:

  • The nozzle not working at a gas station
  • A flat tire
  • People playing basketball on a public court at night
  • Someone not picking up after their dog
  • Someone using the caller’s garbage bin
  • A phone getting stuck in a bench
  • Needing an update on a nationwide Telco outage
  • A broken window wiper
  • Someone cutting in line at the car wash

E-Comm call taker Mark Kolomejac said while the calls can be funny to look back on, they are using up vital time that could be spent on real emergencies.

“Nuisance calls never belong on emergency lines, but it’s extremely concerning how often callers know their non-urgent concerns aren’t an appropriate reason to call 9-1-1. We regularly get callers stating ‘I know this isn’t an emergency, but I didn’t know who else to call,’” he said in a news release.

E-Comm is responsible for 99 per cent of emergency calls in B.C. In 2022, their call takers answered a total of 2,109,440 calls, the busiest year in E-Comm history.

E-Comm has compiled a list of resources for people who need non-emergency help. It can be found at ecomm911.ca/non-emergency-calls.

READ ALSO: Can you order me a taxi? Nuisance 911 calls to Kelowna RCMP in 2022

READ ALSO: Mixed-up coffee orders, messy roommates top E-Comm’s 911 nuisance calls


@janeskrypnek
jane.skrypnek@blackpress.ca

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