by Stephen Dafoe
National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week runs April 11 – 17, and to acknowledge the work of Operational Communications Centres (OCC), Alberta RCMP are sharing some of the calls 911 operators have received. There were 890,972 calls for service, with 373,104 files opened in 2020.
“OCC operators work tirelessly, behind the scenes in high-stress circumstances, serving the citizens of Alberta and our employees every day. They are lifelines for Albertans in emergency situations, and we could not provide the service we do without them,” said Deputy Commissioner Curtis Zablocki, Commanding Officer of the Alberta RCMP. “Every 911 call is taken seriously on our end.”
The list below is a strong indication many people have no idea what constitutes an emergency. RCMP say OCC teams work behind the scenes 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to manage incoming service calls that keep Alberta citizens and communities safe.
- “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.
RCMP reminds Albertans that 911 should only be dialled in true emergency situations when public or personal safety is at risk or a crime is in progress.