VANCOUVER ISLAND, B.C.-The North Island 911 Corporation is calling on residents to help reduce accidental calls. The corporation says every accidental call to the emergency service takes away time that could be spent on real emergencies.

There are over 2,000 in the Strathcona Regional District every year. An operator has to call back each one of them that was made on a landline to figure out if an actual emergency is happening. If contact can’t be made then a police officer has to be sent to the location.

The corporation says cellphones and voice over internet phones make things even more complicated, as it’s harder to track down the location of those calls.

There are some steps you can take, such as not letting your children play with your phone, and making sure 911 isn’t on any of your speed dials, to help prevent accidental calls. If one does happen you’re asked to stay on the line to let the operator know there is no emergency.

You can find more tips on how to prevent accidental 911 calls at this website.