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

Photo: Trail Times
Trail property taxes will go up 3.99 per cent in 2021

Trail council kept the 2020 property tax rate at 0 % over the previous year

Edna Whiteley in 2016. “Her whole life has been happy and about helping others,” says her nephew Bob Steed. Photo: Submitted
Nelson’s ‘little firecracker’ Edna Whiteley turns 100

Whiteley is known as a welcoming ambassador for new arrivals in the city

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
67 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Thirty people in the region are hospitalized with the virus, 11 of whom are intensive care

An animal carrier full of bullet holes and containing a dead animal was found near Castlegar. Photo: Colleen Schwartz
Castlegar woman finds dead animal inside carrier riddled with bullet holes

The remains were discovered near Syringa Creek Provincial Park

A lone traveler enters the Calgary Airport in Calgary, Alta., Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
VIDEO: Trudeau defends Canada’s travel restrictions as effective but open to doing more

Trudeau said quarantine hotels for international air travellers will continue until at least May 21

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson leaves the assembly with Premier John Horgan after the budget speech Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Paid sick leave for ‘hard-hit’ workers left out of provincial budget: BCGEU

‘For recovery to be equitable it requires supports for workers, not just business,’ says union president Laird Cronk

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

In this image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, center, is taken into custody as his attorney, Eric Nelson, left, looks on, after the verdicts were read at Chauvin’s trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Court TV via AP, Pool
George Floyd’s death was ‘wake-up call’ about systemic racism: Trudeau

Derek Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday on all three charges against him

Former University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Rowing Canada sanctions former head coach of B.C. varsity women’s team

Suspension of Barney Williams would be reversed if he complies with certain terms

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Most Read