North Island 9-1-1 Corporation in partnership with E-Comm 9-1-1 are launching a public education campaign to help reduce accidental 9-1-1 phone calls within your community. North Island 9-1-1 Corporation was established in 1995 to provide and manage emergency 9-1-1 services to the Comox Valley Regional District, the Strathcona Regional District, the Regional Districts of Mount Waddington and Alberni-Clayoquot and a portion (School District No. 69) of the Nanaimo regional District. In 1999, Powell River Regional District joined the service (excluding Lasqueti Island).
Initial call answering for 9-1-1 calls within North Island region are handled through E-Comm. The emergency communications centre handles thousands of accidental calls to 9-1-1 each year.
“Every year thousands of accidental 9-1-1 calls occur within our vast coverage area,” states North Island 9-1-1 President Larry Samson. “What residents might not be aware of is that there are few simple tips to help reduce these calls to ensure time is spent on real emergencies.”
Every time 9-1-1 is accidently called from a landline, operators are required to call back these dropped calls to determine whether they are real emergencies. If the operator can’t contact anyone, a police officer can be dispatched to physically verify. Cellphones further complicate the process because, unlike with landlines, they provide only general location information to the call-taker so tracking down callers to confirm it was an accidental call is a challenge.
North Island 9-1-1 and E-Comm are asking residents to:
- Protect your phone by locking it and storing it carefully.
- Ensure 9-1-1 is not pre-programmed into mobile or landline phones.
- Never give old cell phones to children to use as toys; de-commissioned phones can still dial 9-1-1.
Finally if you happen to accidentally call 9-1-1 please stay on the line to ensure the operator is aware there is no emergency.
For more simple tips and learn more about accidental calls please visit www.ni911.com/education
Manager of Corporate Communications, Comox Valley Regional District