The Alberta Health Services Health Link service phone line has been experiencing a high volume of calls for weeks now amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

People are frustrated and as a result 911 lines are being tied up as well. 

Cochrane RCMP Cpl. Troy Savinkoff says unfortunately it's not a new thing to get non-emergent calls to 911.

"It's kind of an ongoing thing. People need to understand to get a hold of the emergency services, 911 is only for an emergency. They're asked to call Cochrane RCMP at (403) 851-8000 and that's the number to get a hold of your local RCMP in Cochrane for non emergencies. 911 is strictly for emergencies."

Savinkoff says "I've seen 911 calls for It's snowing, I've seen 911 calls for a very large multitude of non-emergencies."

He says some people are unsure which number to call and when. 

"I think some people have a misunderstanding that they believe 911 is just a generic line to get a hold of any emergency services and they just need to understand that's for emergencies specifically. If they just google their local RCMP detachment it's very easy to find the correct number to call in a non emergency. Conversely we have lots of people calling in extremely emergent matters not on 911. If people just understand the difference between the two numbers it'll help expedite everything and make it easier for everyone."

AHS is trying to accommodate the influx in phone calls and sent out a tweet last week “We are training additional clinical staff and they are continuing to come on board to provide dedicated additional COVID support. Thank you for your patience.”