Despite the clear instructions to call only the emergency number when there is a threat of danger, it is still unclear to some people in which situations they should contact the emergency services. This is evident from a bizarre top ten that made a Canadian emergency centre with the craziest questions for which people called the emergency number.
Like 112, the emergency number 911 in Canada is only meant for situations where there is a need for men and lives are in danger. So, it is not the right number to call when your windscreen wipers do not do it anymore (you better call the garage or the roadside assistance) or to ask if the clock should be moved forward or backward in the spring (which is usually also in the newspaper or can you find it on the internet).
Somebody else apparently got it in his head to complain about the fact that a fast food restaurant did not appear to be open 24 hours a day as advertised earlier, another phoned to indicate his stolen jacket – for the latter you better use the local number of the police.
Waste of time
The E-Comm call center in British Columbia is the largest emergency center in the Canadian province and processed more than 1.45 million calls this year. Although most people use the emergency number in a responsible manner, many ‘time wasters’ were still involved this year: “Calling the scope as in this top ten waste valuable time that could otherwise go to people in need or danger”, says manager Jasmine Bradley. “The emergency number is only available to call the police, fire department or ambulance.”
The top 10 reasons of the largest emergency center in British Columbia not to call the emergency number of 2018:
- To complain that a fast food restaurant is not open 24 hours a day, as advertised;
- To complain about shoes that are not taken back by the store without the original box;
- To complain that the petrol pump assistant has put the wrong fuel in your car;
- To complain that a car rental company has given you the wrong type of car for a customer’s reservation;
- To indicate that a restaurant did not accept a voucher;
- To ask for help when turning off the car lights;
- To indicate that the wipers of your car do not work anymore;
- To find out where your car was towed to;
- To indicate a lost coat;
- To ask if the clock is set forwards or backwards in spring.