B.C. 911 operators have had their hands full with reports of people breaking COVID-19 rules and they say these calls need to stop.
A spokesperson for E-Comm, a dispatcher in British Columbia, told Narcity in an email that the company is seeing an influx in calls related to COVID-19.
Instead of dialling 9-1-1, callers looking to report concerns related to COVID restrictions should reach out to their local bylaw office or call their local police non-emergency number.
“These calls do not belong on 9-1-1 as they tie up important resources from people who may be experiencing life or death emergencies,” E-Comm wrote.
The dispatcher told Narcity that these types of calls are happening “particularly over the weekends.”
They’ve been receiving complaints about house parties, neighbours having guests, and businesses not following current health mandates.
The reports are apparently getting in the way of emergency calls and they need people to start calling their local bylaw offices instead.
On top of this influx, E-Comm says they’re also seeing more callers “taking out their frustrations” on their staff.
“Our call takers need to help first responders determine if there are any COVID-related risks to them or to the caller before the first responders arrive on scene,” said the statement. “This means call takers may need to ask some additional questions about the situation at hand.”
While they recognize that people are feeling stressed out right now, they are asking that everyone remembers that “the voices you hear on the other end of the phone are your friends, your family members, your neighbours, and they are doing everything they can to get you help as quickly as possible.”
This article's cover photo is for illustrative purposes only.