Emergency call center to Canadian Vonage 911 caller: "are you in Alabama?"

 On that Google Earth grab, my cursor is pointing to Nanaimo, B.C.

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On that Google Earth grab, my cursor is pointing to Nanaimo, B.C. Google Earth's direction finder is pointing to Birmingham, Alabama.  

The two cities are really, really far from each other, you know, eh? You cannot fly directly between the two cities without two plane changes- one in Seattle (off a turboprop connection, the other in Dallas  or Atlanta.

Which brings us to the topic of this post.  

Somewhere in that picturesque Vancouver Island port city of 80,000, a house caught fire last week.

The homeowner, Sarah Brayton, is a Vonage user. She has a harrowing tale to tell about what happened to her when she dialed "911" over her Vonage line.

"My house was on fire, my kitchen, and they sent m through to a call centre and the girl was asking me if I was in Alabama or I was in like, Ontario, and I had to yell and tell her I was in Nanaimo, British Columbia," Brayton told the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation).

Does that surprise you, readers? 

Eventually, she was put through to a non-emergency line at the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) in Nanaimo.

Realizing that her house could sustain major damage if she waited one more second, Brayton put out the fire herself.

"How can you guarantee someone a service, and tell them it's only going to work if their address is right, but you don't check to make sure," Brayton said.

Brayton added that she was told Nanaimo emergency services had given Vonage the wrong number. But despite the incident, she said she is sticking with Vonage.