911 not off to a great start in the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako

Over 100 hang ups from the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako's 911 service area during the first seven weeks of operation

911 went live in the local area during October

There was in excess of 100 hang ups, prank calls or pocket dials from the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako’s (RDBN) 911 service area during the emergency number’s first seven weeks of operation last year.

The 911 emergency service officially went live in the RDBN on Oct. 25, 2011.

According to Stoney Stoltenberg, RDBN director of electoral area A and 911 committee chair, calls such as these waste valuable time as call centre employees are required to determine if there is an actual emergency.

As reported in the Lakes District News edition of Sept. 28, 2011, Sharla Duchscherer, a dispatcher from the Prince George call centre where all local 911 calls are answered, said 911 hang ups create a lot of wasted time trying to confirm if there is an actual emergency.

She said that if there is a mis-dial, callers should stay on the line so call centre employees can confirm the call was not made due to an emergency.

Duchscherer said cell phones that disconnect from a 911 call take a lot of resources to find out what happened. Land lines are less complicated as the address and name of the registered owner of the telephone are displayed on call screens at the dispatch centre.

“When 911 is dialed from a cell phone, the call centre gets a GPS hit on the location of the caller within a 10 to 30 kilometre radius. A disconnected cell phone can take three people half an hour to find out what happened,” she said.

Stoltenberg said the spate of nuisance calls complicated matters for call centre staff and emergency services. “It tied up services that could really be needed elsewhere,” he said.

“We tried to forewarn people that they didn’t have to test the 911 number to see if it was working … it is working …. I think some people may have said, ‘let’s see what happens if we call 911.’ I am hopeful that the number of nuisance calls will go down now.”

He said that while he does not have the latest call centre figures he remains optimistic. “I will be receiving this information soon.”

From the ‘go live’ date in October, until the end of November 2011 there was 370 calls placed to 911 from the RDBN service area, with just over 100 of being hang ups.

“There is 38,000 residents in the RDBN … some people must not have been able to resist the temptation to call. Some of the calls could also have been pocket dials. We recommend that the 911 number is not programmed into cell phones or into auto dial on home phones as it is so easy to hit the wrong button.”

Stoltenberg said most of the legitimate 911 calls received in the RDBN during the first seven weeks were requiring the services of the RCMP.

Despite the bumpy start, Stoltenberg said first responders and legitimate callers have only had positive things to say about the new emergency number.

“I have spoken to people that have legitimately used 911 and they were very happy with it,” he said, adding that more than 25 emergency numbers previously in use throughout the RDBN have been replaced by the three digit number.

“Despite the nuisance calls, it has all been worthwhile,” he added.

 

Just Posted

Gitxsan forming cross-sector salmon management team

Nation again declares closure of fishery in territory for 2019

It’s the last day to vote in B.C.’s referendum on electoral reform

Ballots must now be dropped off in person to meet the deadline of 4:30 p.m.

Motorhome explosion in Houston

A motorhome by the Houston Motor Inn had an explosion Sunday, Dec.… Continue reading

SD54 elects board positions

Trustees also appointed to committees.

Christmas is a comin’

Some of Houston residents are getting the ball rolling for the upcoming… Continue reading

Lawyer for Chinese exec detained by Canada says it’s ‘inconceivable’ she would flee

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Federal government plans examination of coerced sterilization

The Liberals have been pressed for a rapid response to recent reports on the sterilizations

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

Huitema was captain of Canada’s fourth-place team at this year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

Canada not slowing emissions from oil and gas: environmental groups

New report released at the United Nations climate talks in Poland

Liberal Party moves Trudeau fundraiser from military base

The fundraiser is scheduled for Dec. 19, with tickets costing up to $400

Pipeline protesters arrested at B.C. university

Three protesters were arrested after TRU property allegedly vandalized with red paint

Goodale to ‘examine’ transfer of Rafferty to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Minister appoints former CIRB chair to resolve Canada Post labour dispute

Postal workers engaged in weeks of rotating walkouts

Most Read