20 Different 911 Operators Describe The Most Blood Chilling Phone Call They Have Ever Heard

These stories from Ask Reddit will shatter your heart.
A 911 operator
Unsplash / Osman Rana

1. He shot himself along with his six kids

“My sister is a 911 dispatcher. She went on leave after this.

A man called in saying he had shot his daughter and her six kids. Age infant to 11. He said that when police arrived, he would kill himself. Dispatch arrived and he killed himself in-front of them.

Police found the daughter out back. They think she was leading him away from the house and kids. Kids were throughout the house. They had tried to hide. The 11 year old was with the baby.

No one knows why, and it was a small town. It hit everyone in the community pretty hard.” — sweetlemon12

2. A little boy burned to death during a house fire

“My Sister is a 911 Operator, she would call my parents whenever she was upset after a call/day at work. One of the worst ones she told us about was an 8yr old boy calling from his bedroom because the kitchen and hallway were on fire outside his room, she notified Fire Department, but knowing the location was rural and it would take them 10+minutes to get there she began to try and give instructions on what he needed to do to get out. Starting with finding an object to break the window so he could climb out. But between having to calm him down, get the information, keep him calm, and get him to listen to her instructions he ended up burning to death on the phone with her, a couple minutes before help showed up.

From that day on I realized how difficult and strenuous this job actually is and that I would never be able to do it!” — AustynCunningham

3. A woman had been kidnapped, attacked, and abandoned in the forest 

“Former 999 operator in the UK.

A call came through from a young woman that had been grabbed off the street, driven to a remote location, beaten, and repeatedly raped by a gang of men. In the middle of November, they had left her nearly naked in a forest. She didn’t know where she had been left and had called using her mobile phone.

For the better part of an hour, I sat talking with this girl as some of my colleagues tried to locate where she was. The problem was that only two cell towers were picking her up, so it was really hard to triangulate where she might be. When a third tower picked up her call, we were able to identify where she was and direct the police to her.

The whole time, I talked with her and tried to keep her calm. Hearing the terror in her voice anytime she thought that they might be coming back for her or that her battery was going to die was heart breaking. There where moments when she stopped talking to me and I could hear her whimpering or saying ‘please’ over and over again. Finally, the police reached her and called out the word that she had given me. After a short chat with the police, I terminated the call, logged it, and signed out of the system. I never signed in again.

They never found the men that did this. I hope there is a special place in hell reserved for them.” — Tobanis1978

4. She took the call about her own child’s death

“A woman I know was the 911 operator that took the call that her own child had strangled to death in her pack n play.” — kmturg

5. A mother called while her baby choked to death in the background 

“Mother calling stating her baby is choking on a coin, can hear the commotion in the back and couldn’t do anything, the kid was choking and dying… Don’t know what else happened after.” — r0551

6. I listened to a helpless woman as she burned alive

“I took a call from a person who witnessed a horrifying MVA. The driver was trapped in the car and it was on fire. She was a larger woman and managed to unbuckle herself, but the door was jammed shut. I listened to her screaming as she burned alive while the witness wailed and tried to pull her from the window. She did not survive.” — MomofS

7. I spoke to a man seconds before he killed himself

“Had a man call and simply say, ‘There’s a body in the back yard, gunshot wound’ – and hang up. Turns out, shortly after the call, he actually made it his body. It still weirds me out being the last person to ever talk to that man. I know nothing else about him, and never will.” — ncc1701jv

8. A father was shot directly in the head

“Trying to talk to an 18 year old son calling because his dad was just shot in the head randomly by their drunk roommate. Mom comes downstairs to see what the commotion is. Total chaos.” — QueenieTheHound

9. A woman died while she was still on the phone with me

“A woman called in to say her house was on fire. She was trapped in the corner of her living room and couldn’t get out. The stairway was filled with fire and smoke and there was also fire coming in through her windows from the floor below. She was screaming for help. She died on the phone. I think 4 people died in the apartment building total.” — SpecialistWerewolf

10. He learned that his father had passed away during work

“My dad was working at the emergency call center, but was not the one taking calls. Looked at the monitor and saw his father’s address with a possible DOA. Not a great way to learn your father has died.” — ggfftwenty

11. I was held at gunpoint — until the man killed himself instead

“While working as an EMT I was held at gun point and spent 2 hours trying to convince the guy he still had a reason to live. He only took me and the paramedic hostage so the police couldn’t storm the place. He just wanted someone there when he was going to kill himself. When it was coming to an end it seemed like he had calmed down and we were all going to walk out of his house just fine. Then he just said ‘I’m sorry’ and he was gone just like that.” — Madformustangs

12. A little girl was assaulted during a carjacking 

“Carjacking where woman was dragged out of the car but her 3 kids weren’t. Got car and kids back 45 min later after chase x town but little girl had been assaulted. Suspect told her he’d kill her little brothers if she screamed.” — xceptn2therule 

13. We received a call about a suicide 

“Suicides are the worst, and way more common then people might think. A few days before Christmas 2017 we got a call from a father who woke up and found his 15 year old daughter hanging in the basement.

To make matters worse, officers revived her but the loss of oxygen left her brain dead. Her parents ultimately had to decide to take her off life support. Like losing your child twice.” — sj3988

14. A man pulled the trigger while on the phone

“My grandmother was a 911 operator in a small town in California back in the early 1980s. She was the only one on duty and received a call from her good friend’s husband. He told my grandmother that he and his wife had fought, and that he had a gun to his head. She did her best to stall him and talk him down, but he unfortunately pulled the trigger before the police could get to him. She then heard her friend screaming as she found his body.” — ithinkimalergic2me 

15. A lawn mower ran over a little boy 

“When I was a kid my neighbor was a 911 operator. Her sons were about 7 & 8. One day when she was at work their dad let the older one drive the lawn mower and pull the younger one around in a little trailer. They went up a hill and the lawn mower started rolling backwards, the 7 year old fell out of the trailer and was completely ran over head to toe. Mom answered the 911 call and had to calmly direct the dad about what to do while her son’s guts spilled out all over. After dozens of surgeries the kid lived. He’s an adult now and walks with a permanent limp and is in constant pain.” — TheOldestOfGreggs

16. A quadriplegic was stuck in a house fire

“Didn’t happen to me but a coworker. I use to work for a company like ‘Life Alert.’ The person who rang in was quadriplegic and there was a house fire. The fire truck didn’t make it in time. They said the screams messed him up so much that he couldn’t take another call and moved to IT. I still get chills thinking about it.” — virus345

17. There was a hunting accident with a six-year-old kid

“I was a dispatcher for about four years in a rural county. The worst call I got was a hunting accident.

A guy took his six year old son out hunting with him and gave the kid a loaded rifle to carry with him. The kid, while trying to get through tamarack bushes, grabbed the weapon by the barrel and dragged it behind him. The weapon got caught on a branch and discharged into the kid’s head. The father called 911, got me and didn’t know where he was at, as he wasn’t familiar with the area and it wasn’t his land. All he could tell me was that they had passed a lake or pond on a dirt road.

There are several dirt roads with ponds, and I was able to narrow it down to six roads with the location data from the cell towers ( this was the early 2000s and triangulation in rural areas sucked. Not sure how much better it is now.) And his information.

I dispatched every deputy I had on duty(all two of them), the one City cop I had on duty and both our ambulances and fire trucks to the areas. State patrol also assisted with the search. It took us over 20 minutes to find them, and the whole time the father wept uncontrollably screaming “please don’t be dead” over and over again through the instructions I gave him from the flip chart to check his vitals, try to stop the bleeding, etc.

My instructions only lasted about five minutes and I had given him all the info I was trained to give. The remaining fifteen felt like an eternity and from what the father told me and what I was told by the deputies after, he was pretty much dead immediately after the accident.

The EMTs still went through with their routines and loaded the kid in the ambulance because none of them felt comfortable doing otherwise I’m the situation. This was my first shift back after the birth of my son, so I think that’s why it sticks with me.” — chancesarent

18. Their baby died from SIDS all of a sudden

“Been dispatching for 8 years. I work in a very rough area. Taken a lot of messed up calls (shootings, suicides, and what not). Nothing is worse than SIDS. Having to calm down a parent that just found their baby unexpectedly deceased, get them to tell you their address and give them CPR instructions that you both know won’t help is probably the hardest thing to handle. Having two kids of my own, it’s moments like this I pull out my phone. Look at their photos and text home to make sure they’re ok.” — VicRocka

19. A devastated father called about his missing son 

“Had a phone call from a distressed father, his son had gone missing and had left a note saying he loved his family but couldn’t go on living anymore. The call prior to this one was from the RailwayManager, telling me that a train driver had just hit a human. I had already dispatched a patrol car to the area and I had already heard the report. And it was horrible. My colleague in the patrol car was on the verge of breakdown, describing the scene.. body parts lay strewn everywhere and an ID was found. Now, knowing this, I put two and two together and knew that I was talking to a father who had all hopes of finding his son alive again. (The son had done similar things before). The father told me that his wife, the dead mans mother was out looking for the son. I had a radio running in the background so that I could pick up info from the suicide scene and as I was telling the father that the police would help in the search for the lost son, I heard the most bone chilling scream that I ever heard. The mother had arrived at the tracks and I could hear her horrified wailing at what she saw… it was horrible and I had such a hard time holding back tears and keeping my tone straight and civil.

The father thanks me for the help and I could hang up the call..( was not allowed to give the father the news and frankly it is just not something to deliver in a phonecall.)

Their son was dead and gone, the father had to be kept in the dark until my patrolcar could give him the news and the mother was utterly heartbroken.

Her desperate wailing on that radio, it knots my stomach to this day.” — 87Jockey 

20. Young children called about their father hitting their mother

“Almost 8 years I have heard a lot. Kid hiding under the bed while daddy punches mommy. I saved a man from suicide and possibly from killing others in the process. Lots of others. Had a van hit a guy on a motorcycle he went through the windshield and out the back window.” — tinylittlegnat Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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