The largest 911 call center in British Columbia, Canada released its list of the top 10 ridiculous calls received by their dispatchers in 2017.
People called 911 for all sorts of inappropriate reasons, from getting the wrong nail polish color to making sure it was legal to wash clothes at 6 a.m.
E-Comm, the largest 911 call center in Canada's third most-populous province, said it receives 1.36 million emergency calls a year.
Here's the full list:
- Complaining a salon wouldn’t change nail polish colour
- Car refusing to move forward at a gas station pump
- To report food was inedible and restaurant refusing to provide refund
- Complaining tenant moved without returning keys
- Calling because someone parked in their parking spot
- Wondering if a washroom closed sign at a popular beach was legitimate
- Complaining gas station wouldn’t accept coins for payment
- Calling to ask if raccoons are dangerous animals
- Asking if there’s a law preventing washing clothes at 6 a.m.
- Calling to check the time following the fall time change
“Spending time on calls like these takes me away from being available to help someone who is a serious emergency situation,” E-Comm call-taker Christie Duncan said in a statement. “And believe it or not, this isn’t the first time I’ve received a call about the color of nail polish.”
Executive Director of Corporate Communications, Jody Robertson said that calls like these are common and released the list to tell the public that this isn't what 911 is made for.
“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,” Robertson explained. “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.”
E-Comm also has a list of legitimate reasons to call 911. These include an incident where an immediate threat is present, an in-progress crime, a serious crime that just happened like a robbery, or if you feel threatened by a criminal.