Thursday, 9 January 2014

Who You Gonna Call?

You Know You Want To by foundimagination
Weirdly enough, the other night was the second time in a month that I've called a non-emergency number (as opposed to calling 911)

I took a peek through the archives quickly and it seems I didn't tell you about the last time, so I'll tell you about both now.

Early December, I went to a show with a girlfriend and I was driving her home after.  Along the route, I saw some weird light up ahead where there was a building and park and when we got closer we could both see flames.

They weren't massive and overwhelming... they seemed to be sort of contained, as if they were in a garbage can and the garbage can within a concrete portion.

Neither of us particularly knew what to do.

We didn't stop, it's not an easy place to stop... actually has those no stopping signs up and it's weirdly one way no through traffic.

But neither of us wanted to call 911 either... didn't like the idea of bothering them.  So we didn't do anything.

That didn't sit quite right with me so on the way home I vowed that if the flames were still going, I'd let someone know.  And they were.

Smaller, sure, but still... flamy.

I didn't think it was worthy of a 911 call but when I got home I looked up the fire department's non-emergency number (harder to find than you'd think) and I called them.

I'm still not sure if I should have called 911, but it didn't seem like an emergency to me.  The guy took my name and number (I felt a little surprised, but maybe people who set fires also report them and so they ask for identification?) and said he'd send someone.  By the time the call was over, I could hear the fire trucks on their way (I live not too far from where I'd seen the fire, and the fire station isn't too far from that either) so I guess I felt like it had been important enough to report.

But it was a weird thing, not knowing.  Like... maybe someone else had reported it?  Maybe it was supposed to be there?  (Yeah right, not at 10 at night)  Maybe it wasn't a big deal and wouldn't cause any damage?

But I guess that's what the experts are for, to figure that stuff out.

So, yeah, that was the first call.

The second was just the other night.

I was getting ready for bed when I noticed my neighbour was calling me on my cell phone.  Now, no one calls me on my cell phone and I didn't know why she was calling so late when she could just text, but when she called the second time I was concerned that something might be wrong and she needed help, so I answered.

"Someone's stealing your bike."

She and her boyfriend had heard loud guys outside and had opened their window and seen these two guys trying to take my bike.  The guys had been spooked and took off, but they'd managed to cut the Kryptonite wire and... well, I don't know what they were going to do next, I had a secondary lock on the thing...

I was pretty freaked out, but my neighbour came downstairs with me and we brought my (happily safe!) bike back into my place.

I thought about it for a minute and realized if those guys had just taken off, and had the tools necessary to cut through the cable, they might be going to do it again and I'd probably best tell the police.

Again, I didn't feel it was an emergency so I called the non-emergency line.

It was a little bit of a process, I had to call my neighbour back and ask for a description but the lady I talked to was super nice and put out a dispatch.

She also took my name and info and even date of birth, and said she started a file for me... which I didn't think was necessary as I still have my bike... just a ruined cable.

What she said though was important, and she asked me to tell my neighbour, so I'm telling you guys too.

She said that next time my neighbour (read anyone) sees a burglary in progress to call 911 immediately.  She said not to interrupt, just to quietly watch and call 911.  She said that that way (and I thought this was so cute) the police could come and catch them and put them in jail.  (Or not jail, she adorably corrected herself, if that's not what's to happen.)  She said that since they got scared away, the police can't really do anything and they'll get away with it and so to please ask my neighbour to call 911 next time and that the police would be super nice.

I think that's always part of my fear for calling... I don't want to upset or annoy anyone.

I guess I'll just keep hoping I never have to actually call 911.

So, yeah... those are my two non-emergency phone calls this month.

I think I maybe made a non-emergency ambulance call (can't remember if I did 911 or not) about someone passed out on a bench... I assumed passed out, but hoped not dead, so I guess I've called all three now.  Maybe that's the end of my calling stories?


Anonymous Elliott said...

I'm not sure if the RCMP has a similar set up out there in your neck of the Canadian woods, but here in the sticks of Ontario, the OPP has quick dials set up for non-emergency calls...just call * or # OPP on your cell phone and you're connected to a dispatch.

I've used it many times for cars stalled on the 401 in the cold, cars that have slid into ditch and need help, seeing a weaving driver that may be drunk, etc. In Ontario, they can patch through to fire or ambulance too.

It makes it easy to be a good samaritan while keeping the risk to yourself low.

Thursday, January 09, 2014 8:37:00 am  
Blogger Victoria said...

That's a great idea!

I don't think we have it here...

Thursday, January 09, 2014 10:47:00 pm  
Blogger Jonathan said...

I remember when I had my bike stolen - even though it had not been locked up (it was in the back garden), the Police didn't care - it had been on my property, and didn't belong to the person that took it...

Sunday, January 12, 2014 5:47:00 am  
Blogger Victoria said...

Is it possible that I remember reading about this happening to you when it happened?

Anyway... poopy.

Sunday, January 12, 2014 10:01:00 am  

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