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

Scholarship launched to honour three men who died in Sooke River

Sooke School District award will be given annually to a student graduating from EMCS

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5 million for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

Resident mistakes screaming teens’ late-night plunge for an emergency

Big week for Oak Bay Police who respond to rampant theft in Oak Bay, host Polar Plunge

Victims tell of abuse at hands of Victoria substitute teacher

Harry Charles Sadd pleaded guilty to eight charges that took place between 1970 to 1982

2020 Budget: ICBC ‘dumpster fire’ to turn into $86M surplus, NDP say

ICBC operating with $91-million deficit for 2019-2020 fiscal year

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Teen snowmobiler from Kelowna found after air force’s overnight search

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

POLL: Do you support the proposed changes for ICBC?

Tuesday’s provincial budget predicted a shift from shortfall to surplus in wake… Continue reading

VIDEO: A plane crash in Saanich leads a selection of today’s news stories

A selection of Greater Victoria top stories for Feb. 18

Most Read