Weirdest 911 calls: Mouldy bread and foot stuck in a couch

ANGELA HENNESSY, Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:01 AM ET

Weird and wacky.

Emergency dispatchers at 911 centres certainly deal with their fair share of odd-ball calls.

Mouldy bread, the discovery of a snake-like garden hose in a backyard or getting a foot stuck in a couch are just a sample of the kinds of things police dispatchers have recently had to deal with in Toronto, Peel and York.

You can round out the list with calls about the loss of citizenship papers or the discovery of a wasp nest.

“Pretty much anything that can enter your mind, people will call 911 for,” says Peel Regional Police Const. Lilly Fitzpatrick.

“We by no means discourage people from calling; it’s why we’re here,” she adds. “But when police and fire units are tied up by non-emergency calls, it can jeopardize us helping in legitimate emergencies.”

Peel police reported that 48% of all calls made to their 911 line so far this year have been for matters considered to be non-emergencies.

“Taxpayers are paying for this and it creates a huge drain on police that are trying to do their job,” complains Fitzpatrick.

She says that even in the case of a non-emergency call, at least two officers must follow up. Non-emergency calls also eat up valuable time at the dispatch centres.

Concerned after a man phoned 911 with a complaint about buying mouldy bread from a grocery store, Peel police last week turned to Twitter to campaign for awareness.

“When something like this happens, we definitely take the opportunity to remind people that 911 is strictly for emergency situations or crimes in process,” says Fitzpatrick.

As it turns out. the mouldy bread situation is not all that uncommon.


Videos

Photos