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

Staff at Acropolis Manor, a Prince Rupert long-term health care facility in April 2020 where no cases of COVID-19 were reported until an outbreak on Jan. 19, 2021. As of Jan. 25th, 32 people associated with the residence have tested positive for the virus. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Staff at Acropolis Manor a Prince Rupert long term health care facility, take pride in their work place that no COVID-19 cases have been reported in the facility during the pandemic.This photo taken, April 20, from outside, looking through a window shows staff adhering to strict protocols and best practices to keep residents happy and healthy. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
COVID-19 numbers increase at Acropolis Manor – 32 infected

Prince Rupert man concerned about temp. staff from out of region working at long-term care facility

Ken Veldman vice president, public affairs and sustainability, at Prince Port Port Authority on Jan. 21 addressed local employers in an online presentation about a new community recruitment program to attract employees to Prince Rupert. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
New recruitment campaign to be launched in Prince Rupert

Web platform will use community collaboration to attract new employees to Prince Rupert

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
Modelling of predicted transmission growth from the B117 COVID-19 variant in British Columbia. (Simon Fraser University)
COVID-19 variant predicted to cause ‘unmanageable’ case spike in B.C: report

SFU researchers predict a doubling of COVID-19 cases every two weeks if the variant spreads

The Brucejack mine is 65 km north of Stewart in northwestern B.C. (Pretivm Photo)
B.C. mine executives see bright gleam in post-COVID future

Low carbon drives demand for copper, steelmaking coal

In this Dec. 18, 2020 photo, pipes to be used for the Keystone XL pipeline are stored in a field near Dorchester, Neb.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris Machian /Omaha World-Herald via AP
Canadians divided over Keystone pipeline, despite U.S. president’s permit pullback

Two-thirds of Canadians think Biden’s decision was a “bad thing” for Alberta

A woman wearing a protective face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
5 big lessons experts say Canada should learn from COVID-19

‘What should be done to reduce the harms the next time a virus arises?’ Disease control experts answer

Most Read