911 should usually be most people's last resort when dealing with a problem. However, these folks thought the severity of their problem reached a degree that only professionals could handle, but these professionals felt differently.
"There was an older lady in the town that I worked in who was deathly allergic to peanut butter, but she was completely addicted to it. She would frequently call 911 before she ate a peanut butter sandwich and went into full anaphylactic shock. We would race over there code III each time and I would literally have an epi-pen in my hand when I entered her house. We inevitably found her comatose on the floor each time.
Granted these were certainly real emergencies, but they were stupid emergencies."
"I was a 911 dispatcher for a short time. You get a lot of really stupid calls, usually just people who don't get the concept that 911 is for emergencies, but it's not a big deal to me unless they use an unusual amount of resources (calling a lot, faking information to get higher priority, using ambulance as a taxi, etc.)
One guy called FRANTICALLY saying that he saw the dead body of a young woman, early 20s, wearing nothing but shorts. He gave a detailed description, hair color, skin color, body position, the whole bit and said she was by the side of the interstate (in the middle of an affluent suburban area at rush hour) so we figured this had to be a really fresh crime scene. We started scrambling together officers to get there ASAP, a big hassle considering it's rush hour and they're all dealing with accidents and stuff like that. On top of that, we couldn't say what the issue is on the radio is because we have too many busybodies who monitor police radio, then call us to try to get juicy details, or otherwise meddle. So we had to get these officers to their cars to read the computer, leaving other issues, etc. And these are suburban cops in the Midwest, a murder is a really big deal.
The guy called back a few minutes later. 'Uh, I checked again, it's a dead deer.'
Peeved, I announced on the radio that the trip was canceled, 'It was a deer.'
An officer sarcastically called back: 'With shorts on?' He cruised by just to verify it wasn't a danger to traffic. Definitely a deer."
"A family member is a 911 operator. She says on a regular basis people will call 911 for help because their car battery died and they are locked in... not realizing there is a manual lock.
And despite not being an emergency, you can't really just hang up on them. If they are too stupid to figure it out on their own on a hot day, you could have them passing out in their car and possibly dying."
"I have two that tie for the most ludicrous. The first was not taken by me, but a co-worker.
He answers the phone and a male is screaming, 'I've been stabbed in the back by my mother.' Male is crying, screaming, all around sounds to be in pain and is pretty upset. The call is started, about 15 officers race to this guy, and meanwhile, my co-worker is trying to get further information. I can hear my co-worker asking where the knife is. Has to ask multiple times, and is starting to raise his voice when I hear him ask if the caller is kidding. Turns out the caller was confused as to why he was being asked about a knife and calmly explained, about five minutes into the call, that there was no knife, he had been stabbed 'metaphorically in the back' by his mother. A few of the units chose to still respond very quickly and explain why this situation was not good for the caller.
The second call, I actually took. It was a female insisting officers come out and arrest 'her man' for refusing to bang her. The call lasted about 10 minutes and in that time she cried, begged and called me names for refusing to send an officer out. I had to explain multiple times he could, in fact, choose to not have relations with her, and yes he could refuse to go down on her, and if she forced him to have to do this then that would be a criminal action, and that no, our officers coming out to force her man to be with her did not fall under the motto 'To protect and serve.'"
"When I was 16, my parents asked me if I could babysit for a kid whose parents they were going out to dinner with that night. It was my first time ever babysitting. The kid's parents warned me that the kid gets out of control occasionally but I didn't think twice about it. The night was going fine and when it eventually came time for the kid's bedtime, he began to put up a bit of a fight. After a little argument, I got him upstairs and into bed. I closed the door and thought, 'That was easier than I expected.'
About a half hour later, the doorbell rang. I went upstairs and saw flashing lights right outside the door. I opened up the door and there were five cops, two with arms drawn, three with their hands on their holsters. The kid called 911 from his room after I put him to bed and told the cops there was a stranger in the house trying to kidnap him.
I never babysat again."
"I came home from school one day and found out that my mom and little brother were gone. Mind you, I was in 4th grade and took the bus home and there was always someone home when I got back from school. So obviously someone had kidnapped my mom and little brother. I called 911 and the police came by, about three minutes after they arrived my mom came rolling into the driveway in the car. Turns out they weren't kidnapped...
Also on another occasion, not 911, but I came home and they were gone again so, crying and worried, I went to the next door neighbor's house, who just so happened to be the chief of police and his wife. He wasn't home, but she was. She took care of me and fed me a few Girl Scout cookies until my mom got back. Good people, those two."
"I had a guy call me one night and tell me he had died. Obviously, I was pretty sure he was incorrect in his diagnosis so I started questioning him. He would not tell me where he was but I could hear him walking around (leaves underfoot and such). This was in the fall and it was cold outside. I was asking him what he could see and all he would tell me is that he died and needed me to call his mom and tell her but wouldn't give me her name or a phone number.
Eventually, the police dispatcher (who was still listening on the line) was able to get enough clues from him to make an educated guess as to his location. Sure enough, the officers found him in a cemetery, naked and out of it, sitting on a random headstone. He was most assuredly not dead."
"I was a 911 dispatcher in a small rural county for about two years. After some training, I was finally taking calls and the very first 911 call that came in was from a middle-aged man who was driving with his elderly mother. He had stopped to get gas or something and accidentally locked his keys in the car, and his mother couldn't figure out how to get out of the locked car.
I was all, 'Ok sir, can you ask her to open the door?'
He was all, 'I'm trying to get her to unlock the door but I don't think she understands what I'm saying.'
I was at a loss for words as this wasn't the emergency I was expecting. Meanwhile, I was looking at my supervisor for some assistance and she was laughing so hard she couldn't help. They eventually figured it out between themselves, but it seemed pretty stupid at the time.
Other great calls include the kid turning himself in for possession simply to spite his girlfriend (who, according to the caller, wouldn't 'STOP BEING A WITCH!').
Another call was in the middle of the night from an elderly lady who was worried about the ice on her front step as she had to go to the doctor in the morning. And the craziest call came from a woman who was convinced that the evil teenagers in her neighborhood were in her attic making illegal substances, and causing fires that they then used to throw her dogs and cats into. This lady also called once to inform me that her house was prepared for take off and she wanted to get clearance. Turns out she wasn't all that sane."
"I used to be a firefighter. We took a call from dispatch once where a lady spilled a glass of water on the top of her computer. She was afraid it was going to burst into flames.
When we got there, I just kinda swiped the water from the top of the case. Then we got a nice long story about how one of the major film publishing companies (Miramax maybe?) has a freight train in Wisconsin transmitting radio waves into her brain to make her forget things. Apparently, she knows the truth that the only people who can become famous are the ones that Steven Spielberg approves of. Also, she slept in a box lined with aluminum foil."
"My dad is a 911 operator and we live in a town of 1,200 people, so you can imagine how boring of a job that would normally be...
One night, he got a call from a guy stating that he was being held against his will and the other guy was about to shoot him. My dad was a little shocked and asked the guy if there was anything that can prevent this from happening. The guy seemed pretty shaken up and said, 'No, I think he's gonna shoot me...You better get here quick, he's gonna shoot me.' So my dad then asked him if there's any way he could talk to the man holding him captive. The guy said, 'I don't think he wants to talk to you but hold on, I'll ask.'
He puts the phone down and then picks it back up, 'Yeah, he doesn't want to talk to you.' My dad tried to get him to convince the captor to talk to him but apparently, it wasn't working. So my dad then asked for a description of the captor. The guy said, 'Well, he's tall and skinny, has some big hat on his head and has a tail.' My dad thought, 'What the heck? A tail?'
So at this point, my dad knew something was kind of fishy. He asked the guy about the tail and he answered, 'Well, it has these two metal ends that are trying to shock me...' Ding ding ding! He was describing a LAMP! At this point, the police were almost to his house. When the guy saw them pulling up, he said, 'Oh crap, someone's here, I gotta go, and hung up. Apparently, when the police came inside the house, the guy was nowhere to be found. They were looking around the living room and bedrooms for him when all of the sudden they heard this loud banging noise coming from the basement. They ran downstairs and this guy was in the bathroom, beating the crap out of the walls with a hammer, screaming, 'HE'S IN THE WALLLLLLLLLS!'
Apparently, this guy was a recovering from a drinking problem and in his mid 30's. I guess a symptom of withdraws is hallucinations. I laugh my butt off every time my dad and I talk about that story, but I do feel kinda bad for that guy though. Hopefully, the lamp left him alone after that."
"There's an old blind guy in town who gets bored and calls 911 about things he 'hears' in the neighborhood. The hilarious thing is that he's 100% blind, but will tell us things like, 'Yeah, there was a Hispanic guy in my neighborhood and I think he's dealing. He's in a yellow car, a sports car, and I think he's selling coke.'
Me: 'Oh yeah? How do you know he's Hispanic?'
Him: 'He smelled like tacos.'
Me: 'How did you know he had a yellow car?'
Him: 'It sounded yellow.'"
"911 operator receives a call from a Spanish speaking subject, the operator does not speak Spanish and the translator we use was unavailable. Following protocol, she sends me and another cop to check on the caller, though neither of us speaks Spanish, either. We are met by a mom and dad and their 5-year-old son. After several minutes of broken-English and hand gestures, we conclude that they're trying to tell us that the kid hasn't pooped in several days. Figuring we have some sort of medical emergency, we have an ambulance dispatched.
Once the crew shows up, they begin to ask questions of the dad and the kid and are getting the same results I did. I stepped outside and was able to locate a neighbor to help translate. Turns out Dad had called 911 and tied up two cops, three EMTs, and two paramedics for 30 minutes because his 5-year-old had pooped his pants."
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"My favorite call related to drinking:
An RA at the local college calls in. She's hesitant and isn't sure if she should have called 911. I ask what the problem is.
Her: 'There's a sophomore here and I think he drank too much.'
Me: 'Do you think he has been poisoned? Is he conscious and alert, breathing?'
Her: 'Umm....he's breathing and stuff, he just, he --- can't get on the toilet.'
Me: 'Excuse me?'
Her: 'I've been watching him for the last 30 minutes. He keeps trying to get on the toilet, and....failing.'
Me: 'Okay then, I'll send you an ambulance.'
Her: 'It's kind of entrancing. He's trying SO HARD and he just can't get on top of it.'"
"I was the stupid caller once, through no fault of my own, mind you.
This was in college, I was a property manager at some college apartments...basically, a glorified RA. There was this creepy guy, wearing a brown shirt, walking up to the doors to the buildings, trying to get in (they were always locked, you needed a key or someone to buzz you up).
I watched him for a bit and just got a really bad vibe about him, so I called the police. I just figured maybe they could drive through the complex and scare him off.
Well, it obviously wasn't a big hurry kind of call, so by the time they got there, the creepy guy was gone. But you know who was there instead?
The UPS guy.
So, the cops come up to me and, in the most patronizing manner, explain to me that the guy dressed in brown, ringing the doorbells and trying to get in, was a delivery man. I told them it was a different guy, but I got a distinct feeling that they didn't believe me and thought I was just an idiot.
My wife thinks this story is hilarious. I don't think she believes me either..."
"When I was in high school, my friend and I went to McDonald's and slid down their slides with the trays and we got kicked out and banned. A few weeks or months later, we went back and were refused service. My friend pulled out her phone and called 911 to report that McDonald's would not serve us. Yeah, she was that person."
"9-1-1 Dispatcher in Phoenix, Arizona.
It's winter time and I got a 911 call from a lady saying that her neighbor neglects and abuses his dog. Upon being asked how, she said that he leaves the dog outside and goes to the bar. It was winter time in Arizona, so that meant our nights were about 40 degrees...
Animal control was closed and the lady was being really nice, so I decided to take the information and let animal control know of the situation. This lady was deathly afraid the dog was going to freeze overnight, absolutely convinced.
I started taking the information. Address, names, numbers... and when I had asked the lady what type of dog it was, the response I got made me laugh so hard I had to mute my headset.
This lady was absolutely certain that a Siberian Husky wouldn't survive a night in 40 degrees.
People aren't very smart."
"The best story I have is a guy who called about a bobcat in front of the library. He called up out of breath and said there was a wildcat intimidating people so they could not enter or exit the building.
I was fairly close so I started to run over. I asked if anyone was injured and he said no. I was expecting a group of people held up at the entrance by a huge cat hissing at everyone. I told him to keep away from it and stay on the line.
When I got there, I found a tabby cat perched on a bench.
I verified with the caller that this was the cat he called about. I went over to the cat with him and started to pet him, he rolled over and let me scratch his belly.
The guy was shocked and said, 'Oh, someone has domesticated it.'
'Yup,' I smiled and walked away."