Monday , 17 January 2022
Sometimes people call 911 for no apparent reason. The RCMP is reminding Albertans to only call 911 if there is an emergency. Arthur C. Green/Lakeland Connect

Alberta RCMP highlights reasons not to call 911

The Alberta RCMP often receives some interesting calls to 911 and says people are not always aware of what constitutes an emergency.

In recognition of the hard work of Operational Communications Centres (OCC) during the National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week from April 11 – 17, the Alberta RCMP will be highlighting some of the interesting 911 calls they have received in the past year.

The Alberta RCMP has two OCCs, one in Edmonton and one in Red Deer. The teams work hard behind the scenes 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to manage incoming calls for service to keep our citizens and communities safe throughout Alberta. OCCs are staffed by about 160 highly trained professionals and serve 114 RCMP jurisdictions that encompass approximately 1.3 million Albertans.

“OCC operators work tirelessly, behind the scenes in high-stress circumstances, serving the citizens of Alberta and our employees every day,” Deputy Commissioner Curtis Zablocki, Commanding Officer of the Alberta RCMP said. “They are lifelines for Albertans in emergency situations, and we could not provide the service we do without them. Every 911 call is taken seriously on our end.”

In 2020, there were a total of 890,972 calls for service, with 373,104 files opened.

Sometimes, it is interesting to review what shouldn’t be done to understand what is appropriate to do the RCMP says.

Here are some interesting calls that operators received to 911 in the past year:

  • “My phone settings are all in another language, how can I change it back?”
  • “Can you bring me a hamburger? I am hungry and cannot drive!”
  • “I need you to stop my teenage son from vaping!”
  • “My neighbour is plowing snow incorrectly!”
  • “The neighbour’s kids strum the guitar every time I go for a smoke. No matter what time of day, this has been ongoing for three months since the start of lockdown.”
  • Multiple calls reporting suspicious satellites when SpaceX launched.
  • After reporting that their airplane had been redirected from Edmonton to Calgary, a caller refused to exit the plane until their luggage was provided to them first.

With more than 890,000 calls for service to 911 recorded in the past year, the RCMP would like to remind citizens to be mindful that emergency communications centres are busy at all hours with incoming calls about public safety.

The Alberta RCMP would like to remind Albertans that 911 should only be dialed in true emergency situations – when public or personal safety is at risk or a crime is in progress.

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About Arthur C. Green

Arthur C. Green is an award winning journalist and is from Whitbourne Newfoundland. Green graduated from the CNA Journalism Program. Arthur also studied Business Marketing and Political Science at Memorial University in Essex England and St. John's Newfoundland. Green has worked for such organizations as CBC, CBC Radio, NTV, Saltwire, Great West Media, CKLB Radio, River Radio, Vista Radio, and Postmedia. He also loves Jiggs Dinner and can fillet a Codfish.