A food delivery person wears a face mask as they walk away from a downtown Vancouver restaurant with a pick-up on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel

A food delivery person wears a face mask as they walk away from a downtown Vancouver restaurant with a pick-up on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel

Late food, CERB and soiled mattresses: E-Comm releases worst 911 calls of 2020

Here are the top worst 911 calls of 2020, and who you should call instead

Emergency dispatchers serve an important purpose here in B.C. They direct police, fire and medical services to people in need, often at the worst times in their lives.

But in 2020, a few people got confused as when to call E-Comm 911, which operates emergency dispatch centres in B.C., and when to leave the phone alone.

And that error can have serious consequences.

“Our goal each year with this list of nuisance calls is to drive home the message that we need the public’s help to keep 9-1-1 lines free for people experiencing real emergencies who need immediate assistance from police, fire or ambulance agencies,” said Kaila Butler, E-Comm senior communications specialist.

Here are the top worst 911 calls of 2020, and who you should call instead:

Complaining that their food delivery driver did not deliver their meal

Aside from Amazon, no one benefitted from lockdowns more than food delivery services. And while your takeout burger might be the highlight of your day when everything else is closed, it’s not an emergency. Instead, try the restaurant or your delivery person. But remember: be nice.

READ MORE: B.C. caps restaurant delivery fees at 15%, temporarily

Enquiring if there is a full lockdown for COVID-19

Speaking of lockdowns, it’s been a roller coaster ride this year. What’s open, what’s closed, what’s allowed and what will net you a $230 ticket has been a source of confusion over the past few months. Luckily, it’s all compiled on the B.C. government’s website.

Wondering if having a trampoline is illegal during COVID-19

We can answer this one: As long as you don’t throw a party, you’re free to bounce the day away.

Asking for assistance to apply for CERB

The rollout of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit was a mixed bag. For many who lost their jobs to the pandemic, it was a lifeline. But it was confusing. While CERB ended in the fall, you can read all about the new benefits here.

READ MORE: CERB recipients should be prepared to pay income tax on payments, experts say

Complaining that the mattress they had purchased second hand was more soiled than advertised

It’s oft-repeated advice that you shouldn’t buy mattresses second hand, but if you’re concerned you should probably contact the seller.

Reporting that their bank card was stuck in the ATM

This is one for your bank, not 911. Call their customer service and see if you can put a freeze on your debit card in lieu of calling emergency dispatch.

Reporting their neighbour for smoking in a non-smoking building

If it’s a municipal rule, try your local bylaw officers. If not, the people to call are your landlord or your building’ management.

Enquiring about how to enter a career in law enforcement

Try “[city name] police careers” in Google.

Confirming the time

So many options: your watch, your cellphone, your laptop, your car radio, even your microwave.

Asking for help because they were locked out of their car

Any towing services, BCAA or your local locksmith would be happy to help you.

READ MORE: Small parking stalls and late-night vacuuming: Top 10 absurd 911 calls in 2019


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Best of 2020

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Local MP Elizabeth May says the public has a right to know the identity of the company that plans to operate the massive warehouse proposed for Sidney on airport lands but residents who want to stop the project would probably have to go through the courts. (Black Press Media File)
MP Elizabeth May says public has right to know identity of Sidney warehouse operator

Residents wanting to stop the project would probably have to go through the courts, said May

Bukwila by Art Thompson, set at the steps of Lansdowne campus’ Wilna Thomas Cultural Centre, has been welcoming students to campus since 1997. (Photo courtesy of Camosun College)
World-renowned artist’s legacy lives on at Camosun College

Art Thompson made untold contributions toward Indigenous education, art and advocacy

Did you know, according to the CRD, every person produces an average of 185–200 litres of wastewater per day? Here’s where most of it gets treated, at the new wastewater treatment facility at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt. (CRD image)
View Royal signs on to wastewater funding plan

Capital Regional District requesting to borrow up to $34.3 million to upgrade infrastructure

Susan Lundy is an award-winning writer – including a two-time recipient of the prestigious Jack Webster Award of Distinction – with a 35-year career in print journalism. She is well known throughout B.C. as the managing editor of Black Press Media’s Boulevard Magazine and is also the author of the book Heritage Apples. (Lia Crowe photo)
Award-winning journalist and humour columnist pens ode to motherhood and family

Susan Lundy is the managing editor of Black Press Media’s Boulevard Magazine

Victoria Police Department vehicles outside the headquarters building. VicPD (Black Press Media file photo)
UPDATE: Victoria police arrest man at gunpoint for allegedly pointing a gun at another man

No injuries reported in the incident at Beacon Hill Park, police seize replica guns and a crossbow

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Police were on the scene of a fatal shooting in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. government to give more than $8 million for programs to curb gang violence

221 not-for-profit projects led by local governments and school districts among others will receive a one-time grant

Gord Judson steers his log truck down a forest service road, using two-way radio and call signals to mark his position for oncoming traffic. (B.C. Forest Safety Council)
Planning some B.C. wilderness fishing? Don’t catch a log truck

Remote recreation areas bracing for heavy pandemic pressure

Former University of British Columbia student Stephanie Hale, 22. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff Bassett
Human Rights Tribunal to hear complaint against UBC Okanagan for ‘mishandling’ sexual assault report

Stephanie Hale did not return to campus after the student she alleges attacked her was cleared of wrongdoing

Jennifer Coffman, owner of Truffle Pigs in Field, B.C., poses beside her business sign on Thursday, May 6, 2021, in this handout photo. Her restaurant and lodge have been hit hard by a closure of a section of the Trans-Canada Highway and by the British Columbia government discouraging Alberta residents from visiting during the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Jennifer Coffman, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘Why we survive’: B.C. boundary towns struggle without Albertans during pandemic

Jennifer Coffman’s restaurant is located in the tiny community of Field, which relies on tourism

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Black bear tranquillized, relocated after wandering around residential Ladysmith

A juvenile black bear was spotted near 2nd Avenue earlier Friday morning

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Most Read