By Lyonel Doherty
It’s time to shake our collective heads once again at the ridiculous reasons that some people call 9-1-1.
E-Comm recently published its top 10 you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me calls for service in 2019.
These so-called emergency calls are so far removed from a crisis that it’s hard to believe people think that way.
Equally alarming for E-Comm is the emerging trend where some callers know they aren’t in an emergency but call 9-1-1 anyway seeking general information.
Call-taker Chelsea Brent said sometimes it feels like people have forgotten that the reason to call 9-1-1 is to get help in a life or death situation.
Brent handled the number one call on the list: a person complained that a hotel parking spot was too small. Well, let’s return that complaint with the suggestion that hotel management be duly informed of this transgression. Either that or buy a Smart car to solve the problem. Perhaps sitting behind the wheel of that vehicle will actually make you smarter.
Some of the general questions received by 9-1-1 call takers in 2019 included asking for information regarding local watering restrictions and wondering why the traffic was so bad.
One person called to complain that their hair stylist didn’t do a good job, while another was mad that their neighbour was vacuuming late at night.
And get this: One caller requested that police bring a shovel to help dig the caller’s car out of the snow. (Maybe they could have stopped at Tim Hortons to get him a hot chocolate too.)
And to top that, another caller complained that police were being “too loud” responding to an emergency and requested they come back in the morning. (I don’t think they took that under advisement.)
One caller got upset when a gas station would not allow him or her to use the restroom. Out came the phone to dial 9-1-1. (Maybe the cops can straighten out the business owner, you know . . . lean on him a bit.)
And when a coin laundry washing machine didn’t have enough water, an upset customer thought it was an emergency. (My clothes deserve better, damn it!)
A broken ATM machine? Call 9-1-1, but only if it’s spitting bullets instead of money.
Last year E-Comm handled more than 1.6 million 9-1-1 calls.