The public is being asked to call 8-1-1, instead of 9-1-1 for non-medical emergencies after a significant increase in calls related to the snow. (Colin Plant/Twitter)

Public asked to call 811 in non-medical emergencies due to ‘significant’ increase in emergency calls

Paramedics report coming across accidents en route to medical emergencies

BC Emergency Health Services is reporting a significant uptick in the number of calls they’re receiving for snow-related emergencies and ask the public to call 811, instead of 911, if the emergency is not medical.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Sooke man clears snow wearing inflatable unicorn costume

The Victoria dispatch office states they have seen an increase in call volumes for motor vehicle crashes, along with calls for people who have fallen and injured themselves in snowy or icy conditions.

Paramedics have also reported coming across accidents en route to medical emergency calls.

READ ALSO: Victoria snowfall breaks 49-year-old record; wind warnings in effect

According to Sarah Morris, media relations with BC EMHS, call takers and dispatchers are trained to prioritize calls based on medical urgency. Working closely with local paramedic crews, Morris states the goal is to arrive as quickly as possible while protecting the safety of patients, the public and employees.

“Because of the increase in call volume, we encourage people to call 811 rather than 911 if it’s not a medical emergency,” she said.

The 811 line is a free provincial health information and advice phone line, operated by HealthLink BC.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19: Saanich company joins nation-wide effort to produce 30,000 ventilators

StarFish Medical using a ‘purpose-driven design for rapid manufacturing,’ CEO says

Judge rejects pandemic as reason to grant bail to immunocompromised prisoner

Esquimalt man told there are more health risks for addicts on the street than there are in jail

Canoe found in men’s public bathroom in Cadboro-Gyro Park

‘Please do not park your canoe in our bathrooms,’ say Saanich parks staff

Sidney senior welcomes outreach phone calls from charity

A long-time user of Sidney’s SHOAL Centre, praises Beacon Community Services

VicPD asks for help finding owner of recovered camera

Camera contained images of a family celebrating a wedding

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

B.C. sorting medical equipment sales, donation offers for COVID-19

Supply hub has call out for masks, gowns, coronavirus swabs

B.C. records five more deaths due to COVID-19, 45 new cases

A total of 838 people have recovered from the virus

Major crimes investigating sudden death of North Okanagan child

The 8 year old was flown to Kelowna General Hospital and died hours later

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

VIDEO: More than 85 people displaced by Campbell River apartment fire

Traffic is being diverted around Dogwood Street and 9th Avenue

Thieves steal $5,000 worth of cigarettes and candy from semi trailer in Nanaimo

Culprits hit truckload in shipping company storage yard on Old Victoria Road on Monday

Most Read