RCMP hung up on accidental calls

An increasing trend of accidental emergency calls are plugging up the RCMP communications centre that services Penticton.

An increasing trend of accidental emergency calls are plugging up the RCMP communications centre that services Penticton.

“In the span of two weeks alone in April of this year, we calculated that just over 110 hours were spent by operators in locating and verifying abandoned calls which equates to about eight hours a day,” said the manager of Kelowna OCC Staff Sgt. Tim Gross. “That time is exponentially longer for police officers on the road to follow up on abandoned calls.

The Southeast District 911 Operations Communications Center, located in Kelowna, offers service to a combined population of 660,000 people in a vast region between 70 Mile House to the northwest, Golden to the northeast, Princeton to the southwest and Cranbrook to the southeast. Last year, the OCC in Kelowna received a total of 221,073 calls,  of which 46,033 were abandoned. Some 53 per cent of those abandoned calls were generated from mobile devices.

Between April 6 and 19, the OCC in Kelowna received 1,936 abandoned calls with 58 per cent coming from mobile devices. That is an average of 138 calls per day in those two weeks alone that Gross said requires operators and police officers to track down and verify for emergency.

RCMP said operators are required to call back dropped calls to determine whether they are real emergencies. If the operator is unable to get hold of anyone, attempts to locate the caller are the next step before a police officer is dispatched to verify physically. Determining the location of a cell phone dropped/abandoned call also requires a lot of effort because it means contacting the cell service provider to obtain subscriber information, obtaining their GPS co-ordinates and then dispatching police to the location.

“Police officers are taken off the road for hours each day just to respond and verify abandoned calls. That precious time could be spent on investigating more serious offences and responding to real emergencies,” said Gross.

RCMP said if you accidentally call 911 you should simply tell the operator there is no emergency. Additionally they ask that you pick up the phone when you receive a call back after accidentally dialing the emergency line. This will avoid having a police officer knocking at your door. Other tips RCMP offer is to remove mobile phones and wireless devices from your pockets while you are driving in a car to avoid accidental pocket dialing and removing 911 from your programmed speed dials.

 

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Turn out is high in advance voting for the Penticton by election taking place Saturday, June 19, 2021. (Screen shot)
Over 2,500 already voted in Penticton by-election

General voting day is Saturday, June 19

The City of Penticton is beginning plans to revitalize its north entrance on Highway 97. (Jesse Day - Western News)
Penticton reviewing ideas on how to make the city’s north gateway more vibrant

The city has plans to redevelop the area into a welcoming and attractive entrance

People decided to tag Skaha Bluffs rocks which the Ministry has to go in and now clean up. (Facebook)
Bluffs at popular Penticton rock climbing park defaced

Ministry of Environment is going to clean it up

A portion of the Kettle Valley Railway Trail near Naramata will be closed temporarily for upgrade work, including paving. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Upgrades plannned for trail near Naramata

Surface improvement work will mean temporary trail closure

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The Summerland branch of the Royal Canadian Legion has cancelled its Canada Day celebrations for 2020 because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (Summerland Review file photo)
Summerland Legion cancels Canada Day events

Pandemic restrictions led to decision on annual celebration

Fire near Highway 97 C close to Merritt. (Facebook)
Wildfire burning near Highway 97C

The fire is an estimated nine hectares in size

Athena and Venus, ready to ride. (Zoe Ducklow - Sooke News Mirror)
Goggling double-dog motorcycle sidecar brings smiles to B.C. commuters

Athena and Venus are all teeth and smiles from their Harley-Davidson sidecar

Kimberly Bussiere and other laid-off employees of Casino Nanaimo have launched a class-action lawsuit against the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
B.C. casino workers laid off during pandemic launch class-action lawsuit

Notice of civil claim filed in Supreme Court of B.C. in Nanaimo against Great Canadian Gaming

A Photo from Sept. 2020, when First Nations and wild salmon advocates took to the streets in Campbell River to protest against open-pen fish farms in B.C.’s waters. On Dec. 17, federal fisheries minister Bernadette Jordan announced her decision to phase out 19 fish farms from Discovery Islands. Cermaq’s application to extend leases and transfer smolts was denied. (Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror)
Feds deny B.C.’s Discovery Island fish farm application to restock

Transfer of 1.5 million juvenile salmon, licence extension denied as farms phased out

Salmon Arm’s Brook Kosick competes in the barrel racing event at a BC High School Rodeo Association rodeo in Quesnel, which was held from June 11-13, 2021. (Cassidy Dankochik - Black Press)
VIDEO: Shuswap rodeo athlete barrels through competition

Salmon Arm rider Brook Kosick thrilled to compete in provincial finals

A vehicle was fully engulfed in flames before around 11:10 p.m. Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (Kerry Hutter - contributed)
VIDEO: Car fire snuffed in Coldstream

Vernon firefighters douse late-night fire near popular lake lookout

Most Read