http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2005/12/06/police-051206.html [Broken]Don't call 911 for directions or weather reports, police chastise
Last Updated Tue, 06 Dec 2005 17:00:45 EST
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?"
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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