1. New jeans problems
Once we had a young woman call 911 around 2am saying that her legs were turning blue. Turns out she had worn a new pair of jeans to the club that night.
2. That’s not what 9-1-1 is for
6:30 Christmas morning. 9-1-1 goes off. “9-1-1. what’s your emergency?”
Breathless, panicky voice “How do I get the cranberry sauce out of the can without it coming out in chunks?”
“Open the other end and slide it out on a plate.”
“OH! THANK YOU! You are brilliant!”
I wasn’t considered so brilliant once I had to dispatch an officer over there to educate her on proper 9-1-1 usage. Merry Christmas, here’s your citation.
3. But the poor deer!
Caller: A deer just swam across the river behind my house.
Caller: Well I am worried it might be cold.
Me:…….Well there is nothing we can do about a deer being cold. Didn’t it run off after swinning the river?
Me: Well ma’am it’s a wild animal and I’d guess it’s going to be fine.
We had an old woman call in and say there was two guys dress in blue trying to break in her house and rape her. So we send about 6 cops over to her house. It turns out it was the gas company reading her gas meter.
5. “I’m not crazy…”
I have been in the 911 biz for over 22 years. If a caller starts the call with “I swear I’m not crazy” then you need to buckle up for some insanity.
A guy started a call with those words after escaping from his apartment and running to the closest 7-11. He swore that his roommates were turning into giant crabs. The was going to show the officers that they were currently in giant cocoons transforming. As you might expect he was tripping balls.
6. Omg it’s a squirrel
My mom works as a 911 operator. She got a call one time from a girl in gym class at the local high school. She was in a panic and completely serious saying there was a squirrel on top of a telephone pole at the school and it wasn’t coming down.
7. Don’t throw pizza at people, kids.
Had a drunk person call to report he was being harassed. Truth was….. He was being arrested by our officers for throwing pizza at people. All I heard in the background was one of my officers saying to him “that better not be our dispatcher on the phone” followed by some muffled talking and my officer taking the phone and saying “he will be taking a ride with us now” and hung up.
Still laugh about it to this day.
Also had a drunk woman call 911 because she couldn’t remember her phone pass code
8. Also, don’t swallow hairbrushes
“What’s your emergency?”
“I just swallowed a hairbrush”
There is no obvious respiratory distress since they are speaking fine and calmly so I move on to try to assess the situation
“How did that happen?”
“I was pissed off”
“Ok ma’am what’s the address you are at…”
9. “Merry Christmas!”
Police 911 operator here for 15 years. The stories I have.
- I’ve had someone call 911 to know how long to smoke a brisket.
- I’ve had someone call 911 to ask what the fines for parking tickets are.
- I’ve had someone call 911 to wish me a merry xmas when I was working at 3am on on Christmas Morning
- I’ve had someone call 911 report that their trunk wasn’t opening and they wanted to know what to do about it.
- I’ve had someone call 911 in a rural community because a black dude was walking down the street and “we don’t get their kind here”.
- I worked on 9/11. I had people call 911 for weeks after because there were “3 brown guys in a car and I thought you should know about it.”
- I’ve had someone call 911 because they were lonely. About 1,000 times.
And many, many more.
I’ve done this for a while. Do people abuse the system? Sure. But for the most part I’m happy with how our children are taught to only use 911 if it’s a life or death emergency or if there’s a crime in progress.
10. Lots of stupid stuff
“How far down is it snowing?” All the way to the ground, now get the fuck off my emergency line!
“The neighbor is giving my horse drugs.” – 0500 or earlier, every. Single. Day. Usually followed up about an hour later by:
Lady, nobody is giving your horse drugs. Drugs are expensive.
And my personal favorite, exact quote:
“My washing machine is telling me to file for bankruptcy.” This was a confused elderly lady so it was actually a little sad, but I’m including it because it left me completely speechless at the time. I think my response was, “I… you… what?”
11. Four days ago….
Me: “911 this line is recorded, what is your emergency?”
Caller: “hi, um I don’t know if this counts, but four days ago I noticed a Uhual truck in my neighbor’s driveway.”
Caller: “Well the two guys looked really suspicious. They were walking around the house like they didn’t belong there.”
Me: “Four days ago?”
Caller: “it’s been bothering me because my neighbors have been on vacation and no one should be there.”
Me: ……”okay we’ll take a look.”
The entire house had been ransacked. All the valuables were gone. Too much time had passed for the local pawn shops to have the items because they know what is stolen and needs to be moved quickly. LPT: if something doesn’t seem right don’t ever second guess calling the cops immediately. If the operator gives you attitude, make a complaint.
12. This guy ended up in court
Guy lived in a rooming house that had a public area where all the residents could hang out. It had a microwave in it provided by the landlord. Guy called 911 around midnight one night because the microwave wasn’t there. The conversation with the dispatcher went something like this:
Dispatcher: “So… you called 911 because a microwave you don’t even own is missing? Did you ask your landlord if he took it?”
Guy: “Uh, no.”
Dispatcher: “Well, that’s not an emergency, sir.”
Guy: “But I’m really hungry.”
Meanwhile, a person with an actual emergency had to be put on hold briefly because this guy was adamant that this was the worst thing to ever happen. The genius insisted that police officers be sent to his rooming house ASAP because of the missing microwave. Officers showed up–so they could cite him for improper use of 911.
The guy pleaded Not Guilty and requested a jury trial. He represented himself. The jury was out 20 minutes before it announced its Guilty verdict.
13. CRISIS CRISIS
I had a guy who picked his wart at 3am and it was bleeding.
That’s it. That’s the story.
14. Woman calls for escort
My mom is a 911 operator, she gets some insanely stupid calls. I remember a few years ago, there was a huge pileup involving several cars and fatalities. Clearly it caused miles of traffic. A woman called 911, insisting that she get escorted out of the traffic by a trooper, because she “had to get home”, and it was “ridiculous that she should be stuck like that”. Like, people are dead, lady, sorry you’re not gonna make it home for Jeopardy.
And before anybody asks – no, she had no medical condition, unless you count delusions of grandeur…
15. THEY R GONNA CHARGE ME FOR RANCH
My top few:
- girl (approx 25 yrs old) called 911 because they were going to charge her 50 cents for ranch dressing. When I showed up the owner (who I knew because I eat there all the time at work) was totally confused. Then he laughed and said, “we change everyone extra for ranch” to which the girl responded by breaking down in tears. I told her I’d pay for it if she would just leave and the owner just let her take it. Obviously, she was having some sort of terrible day and just lost it. She left w the ranch dressing. Didn’t thank anyone.
- guy called because neighbors were using their own BBQ in their own backyard and the smoke was coming into his kitchen window. He did not think he should have to close his window. He did not talk to his neighbor before contacting police. I told him he should talk with his neighbor or shut his window. Clearly they don’t get along.
- guy called because there was “an aggressive squirrel next to his car” and he couldn’t get in. Squirrel left before we got there.
- (in southern California – beach city) guy called said there was a bear in his backyard. It was an opossum. Not even that big. Regular sized, rat-looking opossum.
- guy called because he put meth pipe into his butt and lost it inside. Probably not unreasonable to call, but really funny and awkward. He went to the hospital. One of my favorite calls.
16. Ma’am that’s…not a crime
Had a woman call 911 because she saw someone driving down the road with his foot out the window. She was following him the whole time, and admitted he had his seatbelt on, wasn’t texting or speeding, he just had his foot out the window.
She wanted the police to pull him over, to which I had to explain he wasn’t breaking any laws.
She couldn’t comprehend that driving with your foot out the window is not illegal, and proceeded to hang up on me, then call 911 again because apparently I didn’t know the law and she NEEDED someone to stop this man. We connected her to a deputy who told her if she didn’t stop calling 911 for stupid reasons he was going to ticket her for abuse of emergency communications.
Also had one a couple of years ago where a dad called to ask for an ambulance because his 17 yr old daughter had a candle stuck up her anus. He tried to explain that she said she had gotten out of the shower and slipped and fell “butthole first” onto the candle… Medics said they found KY jelly with the candle so I think we all know what was going on there.
17. Allergic to…what?
Oh dear god, time to fucking shine. Had a lady trying to call an ambulance because she opened a package from Amazon at home and she was afraid that that her kid was about to have a major allergic reaction… From the packing Peanuts…. because the kid was allergic to peanuts, and when her kid mentioned what they were called, she freaked out.
18. Lots of stupid here!
- Guy calling to argue that his crystal meth is legal because he made it with store-brought products with his own hard-earned money.
- Entitled rich brat demanding an officer drive her back home because she spent her travel money partying; she felt since her father was a well-known surgeon, and a “higher taxpayer” she should get a break and get a ride. I told her no and hung up on her.
- Woman calling to ask where she can get a paternity test done. For herself. I was confused and asked her, to clarify, if she was needing to determine who the father of a child was, she’d have to maybe contact a clinic. No. She wanted to know how can she find out if she was the mother of someone who claimed she gave birth to them. No mental illness, no hysterical pregnancy, she was just dumb.
- We had an Amber Alert go out; guy stabbed the mother of his children and took the kids. Man calls to complain that the Alert is interrupting his TV and that the father should be left alone because he’s doing a good thing to be with his kids.
- Woman calling to complain that her McDonald’s triple thick milkshake isn’t thick.
- Had a woman get so angry about kids playing outside on their ATVs and bikes, on their family’s property, in the middle of the day in the summer, that she had a stroke. She’s ranting and raving and then all of a sudden, she’s speaking slowly and her words are slurred and she’s groaning… It was a weird thing to happen but she didn’t need to be so damn angry over something like that. Sheesh.
- Another woman calling, terrified, whispering into the phone. Says she’s locked in a closet with her kids. I’m thinking a home invasion robbery, and as soon as I get her address, I slam the call in and get ready to start updating quickly. “Why was she huddled in her closet, terrified and on the verge of tears, milkcustard?” Glad you asked. This woman saw a mouse in her house and was terrified and didn’t know what to do because her husband was deployed, so she wanted an officer to come out and take care of the mouse for her. An officer went out and did. Your tax dollars at work!
19. He wanted his rock back
Once took a call from a guy who had found an ‘unusual rock’ on the side of the road. Apparently he had turned it over to what were city employees or road workers of some kind (the fellow was obviously quite intoxicated), but now … he wanted it back. And it was an emergency, as the rock was obviously an relic of some kind that was worth thousands, as it had an impression of some kind of bone or shell in the side of it! A
t any rate, I managed to convince him that if he didn’t know who he had turned it over to, then we could not track down the rock, and that searching for this person was definitely not a police matter as it was given voluntarily to them, as he had said earlier on the recorded line. Hardly a marvel of a story, but it was certainly one of the dumbest reasons I had ever heard to call 911 in my time as an operator.
21. This is wild.
Ex-911 operator. Worked in the midwest. Lots of your garden variety daily dumb calls, but this is next level stupid. Story goes a little something like this.
“911, what is the location of your emergency?”
“Uhh… [address]. sigh… So… I’m not really sure if this is an emergency. Ugh… this is so embarrassing, I’m sorry. I uh… I answered an ad on Craigslist for some… services, you know, with a woman…”
And somehow this ends in you dialing 911 at 1am?
“… and I answered the ad that said… ‘send me what you got,’ so I sent her — sigh — you know, some pictures. I got a reply that… oh my god… that said I had sent these photos to his daughter who was sixteen. I didn’t know! I really didn’t know, I think maybe someone put her number there as a joke, you know?”
“Right, okay. So you want to speak with an officer? What’s your name?”
“Well I don’t… I don’t wanna say my name and get in trouble or anything. I’m just worried that this needs to be brought to someone’s attention and get it out there, you know?”
You’re on a recorded line with all of your information on our computer, homie, but proceed.
I transfer the call to the on duty Sgt, hoping he’ll open up to another dude. He does, and then the truth erupts into a twisted tale of a love trapezoid straight out of an M. Night Shyamalan diary. It turns out the caller wasn’t a child predator at all. He was just a horny kid on the prowl for some very legal kitty. A particular ad from a woman in a city called Hooker (shit you not) claiming to be 25 years old piqued – among other things – his interest, and he dutifully complied to the demand for cock shots. A brief time later he was textually accosted by a reasonably enraged man claiming to be the father of the alleged juvenile. Homeboy apologizes profusely and attempts to explain the situation by sending “Daddy” a link to the ad in question. Presumably followed by the ordering of P90X and gathering of bail money.
It is at this point the story takes a nosedive: “Daddy,” well… isn’t. Daddy’s true identity becomes Hubby; his innocent little girl’s phone is actually the phone of his wife. I believe it – most sixteen year olds haven’t been sexually dissatisfied long enough to turn to a Craigslist ad for “W4MM.”
That’s Woman for Multiple Men, BTW.
EDIT: To clarify. TL;DR kid thinks he sent dick pics to a child after seeing an ad on Craigslist asking for “multiple men.” Calls 911 when he receives text from man claiming to be father of child threatening violence and jail time. Investigation ensues, dick pic recipient is actually cheating ho wife from a city called Hooker.
22. “Wild Rabbit in my garden!”
I was a 9-1-1 operator before computers so technology has changed a bit but people haven’t!
Elderly caller: I need the police, there is a wild rabbit in my garden eating my garden vegetables. (I did not send anyone) and during some snowy weather residents were encouraged not to drive unless they had to. We’re talking 4-5 inches of snow…nothing terrible. A woman called and said she had a green Toyota and wondered if it would be okay to drive. I gave a professional answer (and a gentle reminder about the use of 9-1-1)and then hung up and laughed saying, no…only blue Toyota’s and white Honda’s today!