Don't call 911 for directions or weather reports

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Don't call 911 for directions or weather reports, police chastise
Last Updated Tue, 06 Dec 2005 17:00:45 EST
CBC News
Ontario Provincial Police are begging the public to stop calling 911 unless they face a true emergency, saying they're being overwhelmed by requests for directions, weather conditions and the like.
The force made the plea on Tuesday, saying the increased number of trivial calls could be jeopardizing the lives of people who are trying to reach them to report actual danger.
The OPP detachment in the Eastern Ontario town of Smiths Falls, for example, says about 90 per cent of the calls to its 911 call centre are not emergencies.
"Just the other day, we had a person call on 911 that wanted to complain about the signs posted on the highway that say Speed Kills," said Kim Fawaz, who fields 911 calls in Smiths Falls.
"They felt it was false advertising, because speed does not kill – it's the impact at the end." He said the caller wanted the signs changed.
Police say an emergency consists of any situation where people or property are at risk, including crimes in progress, traffic accidents, fires or medical emergencies.
Instead, its operators have heard it all, from calls about lost dogs to requests for bus schedules – even pranks.
'What is the capital of the new territory up north, Nunavut?' caller asks
The force released several recorded re-enactments of real 911 calls, saying it couldn't release the originals because of poor sound quality and confidentiality concerns.
The recordings included these excerpts:
-- "What is the capital of the new territory up north, Nunavut?"
-- "Hi there, I'm really sorry to bother you, I'm just not sure who else to call. I lost the number to the cellphone company. Would you happen to have that number?"
-- "What are the ice conditions today? We want to go ice fishing today."
-- "I live in Kitchener. I want to go to Toronto. Can you tell me how to get to Palmerston Avenue?"
http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2005/12/06/police-051206.html [Broken]

WOW i had no idea people did stuff like this. i for one have always known what 911 is for, i don't know what's wrong with those other people.
 
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  • #2
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There was something similar to this on the news here in the US a while back. Specifically, someone called 911 to show their dog how to do it. I guess the dog was the one that actually pressed the buttons. Terrible indeed. Here is an idea, disconnect the phone if you want to teach your dog how to dial 911.
 
  • #3
Moonbear
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Wow! That's pretty stupid! And to think I was worried about using 911 once when I was in a car accident (years ago) because nobody was hurt so I didn't think it was necessarily an emergency, we just needed someone to take the police report.
 
  • #4
JasonRox
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Moonbear said:
Wow! That's pretty stupid! And to think I was worried about using 911 once when I was in a car accident (years ago) because nobody was hurt so I didn't think it was necessarily an emergency, we just needed someone to take the police report.
Same here.

This I find shocking because I live in ONTARIO. :bugeye:
 
  • #5
rachmaninoff
They should send police out to those people, and have them brought in. They're a menace to everyone around them.
 
  • #6
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when i was a kid i called 911 a few times when it wasn't an emergency. i called twice in a week or something and they came and took my dad. least thats what mum said. he came back at the end of the day. but they were awful mad at me.
 
  • #7
Moonbear
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rachmaninoff said:
They should send police out to those people, and have them brought in. They're a menace to everyone around them.
I agree, they should at the least receive a fine that requires a court appearance so they learn their lesson and bring in some revenue to the police department for handling the nuisance calls, just like they do for people who pull false fire alarms.
 
  • #8
rachmaninoff
My uncle has some sort of annoying neighbor who called 911 without good reason, the police department got $500 extra revenue that day. :cool:
 
  • #9
90%!! Holly cow! Is that just a Canadian issue or is it that bad here too? I mean I know that we have the same problem but I never thought it could be that bad.
 
  • #10
cronxeh
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Here in NYC we have 311 for all other information. I'm not sure but I think there is a penalty for calling 911 for non-emergency reasons
 

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