Relying on 911

Evidence of idiocy:

An upset Newfoundlander called 911 to report her pizza didn’t have enough cheese, police say. ...
“I’m not sure if by calling us they assumed there was some sort of action we could take, or what the situation was, but of course we advised the individual they just needed to speak with the manager of the company and not the police.” ... the force the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary has received many inappropriate inquiries over the years.

Emergency agencies the world over have struggled with them since adopting 911. Last month, a Las Vegas-area fire department held a news conference to ask people to not call over “stubbed toes and sore throats.” In February, police in Kentucky reportedly said people often called them to ask directions.

In December, British Columbia’s largest 911 call centre, E-Comm911, issued a list of the top 10 reasons not to call the emergency line, based on actual calls received in 2015.

Among them: Requesting the number for a local tire dealership; reporting an issue with a vending machine; asking for the non-emergency line; complaining a car was parked too close to theirs; reporting that a child wouldn’t put his seatbelt on; telling police about a coffee shop that refused to give a refill; asking if it’s OK to park on the street; reporting someone had used a roommate’s toothbrush; seeking help getting a basketball out of a tree; and complaining that their building’s noisy air system was keeping them awake.
- Newfoundland woman calls 911 over pizza cheese, The Canadian Press, Jun. 21, 2016

These people seem to be lacking in a certain sort of basic understanding of how it makes sense to use an emergency number, an understanding we would expect a person of normal intelligence to possess.

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