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

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
253 new COVID-19 cases, 4 more deaths in Interior Health over the weekend

More than 1,000 cases in the region remain active

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
RCMP: Small tin saved Trail man from stabbing

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

School District 8 is asking the education ministry to stop making the Foundation Skills Assessment data public. File photo
Kootenay Lake School District requests education ministry make annual student assessments private

The district is concerned the data is being misused by the Fraser Institute

Nelson has begun 2021 with a small rise in COVID-19 cases. Illustration: BC Centre for Disease Control
Ten new cases of COVID-19 in Nelson area

The cases were reported for the week of Jan. 3 to 9

Zoey Uniat is now three months old. Photo: Submitted
Castlegar baby with rare disorder progressing towards coming home

Fundraiser for Zoey Uniat has raised more than $50,000

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

Sunnybank
COVID-19 related deaths at Oliver, West Kelowna and Vernon senior care homes

Sunnybank, Heritage Retirement Residence and Noric House recorded deaths over the weekend

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Most Read