Police near Toronto say someone called 911 to complain about a lineup at Taco Bell
Is your house on fire? Is a burglar in your kitchen? Is there some sort of immediate danger or threat to your safety? Go ahead and call 911. That's what the emergency number exists for. Emergencies.
The list of things that could happen to warrant a proper 911 call is long, but the list of things that don't require the services of police, ambulance or fire departments is much, much longer.
We know this because local emergency responders need to remind people at an alarmingly regular rate that they shouldn't call them for things like their mom changing their Xbox password or the fact that they got tomatoes on a sandwich when they didn't order tomatoes.
The Greater Toronto Area is rife with people who are absolutely delirious in this regard, to the point where some police departments have staged full public service campaigns aimed at stopping the dumb and the selfish from tying up resources.
Durham Regional Police Service, for its part, publishes an annual list of the "Most Ridiculous (non-emergency) 911 Calls" dispatchers receive every year to deter those who might misuse the number in the future.
As one might expect based on the general sentiments of society this year, 2021 had some real humdingers, including someone who was mad about a Taco Bell drive-thru line being too long and someone else (at least I hope it's a different person) calling 911 to report that a parking garage meter had eaten their money.
"This list of calls is being released to raise awareness of the misuse of 911. DRPS 911 communicators respond to an average of 600 911 calls per day. In 2020, they handled over 223,000 911 calls, and that doesn't include the non-emergency calls," reads a release issued by the service, which serves such cities just outside Toronto as Pickering, Ajax, Uxbridge, Oshawa and Whitby.
"Misuse of 911 can potentially delay someone with a life-threatening emergency from getting help. Before dialing 911, please remember that is for police, medical or fire emergencies, meaning there is an immediate threat to someone's health, safety or property."
I get that the lineup for taco bell isn't an emergency, but the line to the washroom afterward may be!!— Johnny Sunshine (@Smooth_Rooster) December 31, 2021
Here's the full list, courtesy of DRPS. May it serve as a warning to those who might call 911 in 2022 requesting police escorts through traffic because they're late for an appointment.
1. Taco Bell drive-thru line was too long.
2. Caller's kitchen flooded, so they dialed 911. The caller was advised to contact his insurance company and a plumber. The caller didn't appreciate that answer, so they hung up and called 911 again and said the same thing.
3. Kids called 911 asking if the call-taker's refrigerator was running.
4. Parent looking to have police attend to 'scare' their 12-year-old son who is talking back.
5. The caller's nine-year-old son changed the wifi password and refused to give them the new one. The caller wanted officers dispatched to force the child to provide the new password.
6. Caller dialed 911 asking police to find their wifi password
7. Trying to find COVID test results.
8. Uber driver upset that after 10 minutes, the customer wasn't coming to the vehicle.
9. Cat got out of the house/stuck in a tree.
10. Caller requesting the non-emergency police number.
11. A pizza place made caller the wrong pizza, and they wanted them charged because they wouldn't make a new one.
12. A parking garage gate ate the caller's money and they couldn't exit the garage.
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