E-Comm dispatchers saw an increase in phone calls due to the snow. (Black Press Media File)

Vancouver Island dispatchers see rise in 911 calls due to snowfall

A 10 per cent increase was seen overnight, with more throughout the day

Snow isn’t a common occurrence on southern Vancouver Island, and the sight has caused many people to reach out to emergency responders.

E-Comm, which runs the South Island 9-1-1/Police Dispatch Centre out of Saanich, said that when snow started falling on Sunday night there was a jump in calls.

“We saw more than 30 extra 911 calls, a 10 per cent increase, compared to a regular Sunday,” said Jasmine Bradley, corporate communications manager. “We’re seeing lots of calls come through in the morning for MVIs [motor vehicle incidents] and downed power lines.”

ALSO READ: Snowstorm 2020 – Here’s what you need to know to get around Greater Victoria today

A total of 84 calls came in Monday morning, compared to an average of 74.

While reporting car crashes or downed power lines is important, Bradley said some extra calls were coming in that weren’t really emergencies.

“We’ve had a few people calling in asking for updates on road conditions, or to find out if a street has been plowed,” Bradley said. “Those kinds of calls can’t come through 911; they need to call their local municipalities… we need to keep the lines clear for real emergencies.”

For the most up-to-date road conditions on highways visit drivebc.ca.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

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