“911, what’s your emergency?”
It’s a phrase people hope to never need to hear, but over the course of a year, a lot of calls for help come through.
In 2022, Saskatchewan RCMP received 352,854 calls for service. And while some serious incidents were reported, RCMP also received a number of odd and maybe even funny calls for help.
Here are the top 10 calls that “missed the mark in 2022.”
10. Memory lane – A caller asked OCC operators if they knew the name of the polite RCMP officer who had served in their community. The caller was hoping for an update to see how the officer’s family was doing. While well-meaning, RCMP said this certainly would not be considered an emergency.
9. Hold please – 911 dispatchers received a call from a person who didn’t want to be on hold after being told they needed to pick up paperwork at their local RCMP detachment.
8. Bad luck – A caller advised OCC operators they had swallowed a mosquito, choked and lost their dentures, leaving them unable to eat supper.
7. You rang? – An individual advised they needed assistance deleting a voicemail off their phone.
6. This is not a prank hotline – An individual called 911 to advise there was a cougar on the loose in their city. When the call-taker asked for details about the cougar, the caller laughed and said the cougar’s name was “Cindy.”
5. Takeout troubles – A caller advised that they purchased $65 worth of fast food only to find their roommate ate the order. The caller requested an RCMP officer come and sort out the disagreement.
4. Here kitty, kitty – A concerned individual called about a hostile cat and asked an RCMP officer to bring it to the local animal shelter for them.
3. Can we talk a-boot it? – A dispute at a clothing store resulted in a call to 911. A customer was very upset with the manager of the store who refused to accept the return of already-worn winter boots.
2. Got milk? – A caller advised they were out of milk and requested RCMP officers pick some up for them.
1. Scrub-a-dub-dub – A concerned individual called 911 to advise their bathtub drain was clogged and the water wouldn’t go down.
“Before dialing 911, please remember that calling the police should be reserved for police-related matters only and calling 911 should be reserved for life-threatening emergencies only,” RCMP said.
Lee Rosin, recruiter and training facilitator for the Saskatchewan RCMP Operational Communication Centre, said RCMP “release the list to raise awareness about the misuse of 911, which can possibly delay someone experiencing a life-threatening emergency from getting help.”
“Every moment that we are spending speaking with someone who is complaining about their shopping experience or wanting to prank call 911 is time that call-takers and officers could have been helping someone in a life-threatening situation,” Rosin said.
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