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Directions home from a Drake concert among frivolous 911 calls made in B.C. in 2023

E-Comm has released its annual list of top 911 nuisance calls. Among them: Uber Eats order taking too long and a bad haircut.

People across British Columbia rely on call takers to help them during an emergency, but not everything is worth calling 911 for.

On Friday, E-Comm, B.C.’s largest emergency communications centre, released its list of the top nuisance calls made in 2023.

The worst call made to 911 this year was when a person asked dispatchers for directions home from the Drake concert.

“No matter how absurd a call might be on the surface, we have to treat every 911 call as an emergency, until we can confidently determine otherwise,” says Alaina Milicevic, a police call taker at E-Comm.

E-Comm handles 99 per cent of 911 calls in the province and saw an increase of 13 per cent in call volume this year. 

Milicevic did not take any of the top 10 nuisance calls but says this type of call is a daily occurrence.

"Most of these calls appear to be customer service issues more so civil than police issues, that would be better served by calling a customer service line or the Better Business Bureau or maybe even city or bylaw,” she says. 

Releasing the 10 worst nuisance calls is a reminder to keep the phone lines clear for emergency situations. 

"The 911 line is for in-progress, emergencies that require immediate attention or in-progress crimes,” says Milicevic.

Top of the list was also a person who called 911 because their Uber Eats food delivery driver was taking too long. Another individual called after a traffic light was taking too long to turn green. 

Here are the top 10 nuisance calls of 2023:

    • To ask for directions home from the Drake concert
    • The traffic light was taking too long to turn green
    • They lost a nose ring down the shower drain
    • Their Airbnb host cancelled their reservation
    • Their Uber Eats order was taking too long
    • A burger joint wouldn’t let them in before opening
    • They couldn’t find their cellphone
    • To complain about a pothole
    • Their McDonald's order was taking too long
    • The barber gave them a bad haircut

“If you do accidentally dial, stay on the line, let us know that this was an accidental dial so that we can make sure that you're safe. Don't hang up,” says Milicevic.