Vancouver: Calling 9-1-1 to complain that a nail salon won’t change your nail polish colour is a call that doesn’t belong on 9-1-1, says E-Comm as it releases its top 10 nuisance calls list for 2017.
E-Comm call-taker Christie Duncan fielded the call and says it’s just one example of the types of calls call-takers receive every day that can tie up the 9-1-1 lines. “Spending time on calls like these takes me away from being available to help someone who is a serious emergency situation,” says Duncan. “And believe it or not, this isn’t the first time I’ve received a call about the colour of nail polish.”
Here is E-Comm’s 2017 list of top 10 reasons to not call 9-1-1:
Complaining a salon wouldn’t change nail polish colour
2. Car refusing to move forward at a gas station pump
3. To report food was inedible and restaurant refusing to provide refund
4. Complaining tenant moved without returning keys
5. Calling because someone parked in their parking spot
6. Wondering if a washroom closed sign at a popular beach was legitimate
7. Complaining gas station wouldn’t accept coins for payment
8. Calling to ask if raccoons are dangerous animals
9. Asking if there’s a law preventing washing clothes at 6 a.m.
10. Calling to check the time following the fall time change
“As you can see by our 2017 list, some people believe 9-1-1 can be used as a customer complaint or general information service,” says Jody Robertson, executive director of corporate communications. “While these calls are absurd, they’re more common than you might think. The fact is – every time a 9-1-1 call taker handles one of these calls, we waste valuable resources. We’re asking the public to help us help.”
Robertson reminds the public that 9-1-1 is for police, fire or medical emergencies when immediate action is needed and calling non-emergency lines for calls like this is also not appropriate. “Non-emergency lines are for important police matters. None of the items on our list is a police matter.”
E-Comm, B.C.’s largest emergency communications centre, receives approximately 1.36 million calls every year.