VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Lower Mainland 9-1-1 services are seeing an increasing number of calls from people looking to tattle on those not practising physical distancing or just seeking general information about COVID-19.
Jasmine Bradley, with E-Comm, said dispatchers haven’t been overwhelmed with such calls, but they have been fielding more about COVID-19 that they don’t have time to handle.
People are asking for general updates and information about the coronavirus, such as whether there are any official lockdowns.
“People wanting to report others who they see aren’t properly physically distancing or others they know who have just come back from a country outside Canada,” Bradley added.
“They need to be going through your local bylaw office, they are not a police matter.”
This week is Emergency Service Dispatchers’ & 9-1-1 Awareness week! We would like to acknowledge all the hard work and dedication that @Ecomm911_info call-takers and dispatchers do every day. Thank you for keeping us, as first responders, and the community safe! #911AwarenessWeek https://t.co/UzSASnQ522
— Vancouver Police (@VancouverPD) April 6, 2020
Bradley said municipalities throughout Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island have set up lines dedicated to COVID-19 matters, such as quarantine regulations.
She added E-Comm staffing levels are fine for now, although the an auxiliary pool of former staffers is being formed to ensure enough are available to handle emergency calls, if needed.
April 5-11 is Emergency Service Dispatchers and 9-1-1 Awareness week.