E-COMM says it continues to see an influx of calls related to COVID-19, particularly over the weekends, as many callers look to report house parties, their neighbours having guests or concerns about businesses not adhering to public health orders such as restaurants serving alcohol past 10 p.m.
It says in a press statement: “It’s important to remember that these calls do not belong on 9-1-1 as they tie up important resources from people who may be experiencing life or death emergencies. Instead of dialing 9-1-1, callers looking to report concerns related to COVID restrictions should reach out to their local bylaw office or call their local police non-emergency number, if their bylaw office is unavailable. In Vancouver, you can make these reports by calling 3-1-1 or using the VanConnect app. A list of police and fire non-emergency numbers in B.C. is available at nonemergency.ca.”
It added: “Unfortunately, we are also seeing more callers taking out their frustrations on our staff. Our call takers need to help first responders determine if there are any COVID-related risks to them or to the caller before the first responders arrive on scene – this means call takers may need to ask some additional questions about the situation at hand. We understand that people are feeling anxious and stressed out, but we ask everyone to try to recognize that the voices you hear on the other end of the phone are your friends, your family members, your neighbours, and they are doing everything they can to get you help as quickly as possible.”