911 Operators Break Down The Strangest Calls They've Ever Received
Image by F. Muhammad from Pixabay

Apparently, some people missed the lesson about how calling 911 should be reserved only for absolute emergencies.

There are apparently plenty of adults out here thinking the 911 line is a much more casual source for help. These people call for offhand questions, minor gripes with a neighbor, even just a touch personal decision.

Don't get me wrong: there's nothing wrong with reaching out for help. But maybe don't clog up the emergency line.

After all, what if a pressing issue cropped up at the exact same moment?

Redditor Atoms_Apple asked:

"What is the pettiest reason someone has called 911?"

Many people decide to call 911 when they're in a logistical jam. Quick PSA: the ambulance is not a free taxi.

The Jig's Up

"Not a dispatcher but when I was in EMS we were dispatched to a psych call. When we got there this lady was standing out side her house ready to go to the hospital."

"On the way to the hospital I was talking to her and trying to get her vitals when she told me there was nothing wrong with her that she heard a family member was in the hospital and needed a ride, so she called 911. Cops met us at the hospital for her."

-- Crimson_Leader

Direct Line

"I work for small police station but once had 911 put through a caller who then requested that I patch them through to a pizza place so they could order pizza from a 911 only cellphone..."

-- vtphoenix22

Here's Good

"I've been called to make a bed."

"Another one of my units was called to a drunk guy at a bar for 'trouble breathing' said he was looking for a ride into the city. Almost to the hospital he refused care and transport and got out and went where he wanted to go. It's endless"

-- Sad_Comfortable_0825

A Free Show

"I had a guy call 911 just because he wanted to see fire trucks and ambulances with lights and sirens. He miscalculated."

"There was a cop too...and he was not amused. Dude spent the night in jail."

-- the_Blind_Samurai

Priorities of That Age

"I tutored a 2nd grader many years ago for extra money. There was some assignment where the question was about when it is okay to call 911 and the kid (seriously) told me that it's you forgot to bring your homework to school."

-- BlueGrotta

Some people just ask for information. It's startling, especially given that the internet has way more information than the poor worker on the other end of the phone line.

An Eye for Design

"I received a call on the non emergency line from a 90-something year old lady asking me what lamp she should put in her bedroom. I told her I did not understand and that the sheriff's office was not the correct place to ask."

"Eventually she got upset and said 'Fine I'll call 911, they'll help me there!' I tried to tell her that 911 would just go back to me and it was a misuse of an emergency line, but it was too late."

"15 seconds later 911 rings, I answer and lo and behold it was the lady asking 'what lamp should I get for my bedroom?' "

-- WesphaliaReformer

Parents Explain Why They Regret The Name They Gave Their Child | George Takei’s Oh Myyy

Seasonal Emergency

"Not me, but a close family friend worked taking 911 calls for years. She said the number of calls they get about how to cook turkeys at Thanksgiving time is just baffling."

-- JonnyBoomBots

Eyes in the Sky

"To complain we had the road closed. Then asked when it would open. Then asked if they could squeeze through. No, you can't."

-- leg00b

And some people call 911 when they can handle the rage they feel. Unfortunately, many adults can't seem to work out their differences, so they bring in the big guns.

Well, Not Always Adults

"A classmate of mine in 6th grade called 911 because he lost to his sister in Hungry Hungry Hippoes" -- Ok_Entrepreneur_6942

"I didn't see the 'to' before 'his sister' and I thought it was an extremely high stakes game of Hungry Hungry Hippos" -- Disastrous_Toe_Jam

A Cherished Phone

"8 or 9 years ago, my husband and I had a couple of acquaintances over for dinner one night. They were from our local poker group."

"The 4 of us were having a great time when one of the guys accidentally knocked over the other guy's phone and cracked its screen."

"The second guy went mental. He started yelling at the first guy and demanded that he pay to repair the screen. The second guy agreed to it but the first guy kept yelling and yelling. He called 911 and the cops came."

"He told the cops that the second guy broke his phone and he wanted to file a police report. He asked the cops to force the second guy to give him money to repair his phone. The cops were so confused and annoyed. We were mortified because it happened at our house and the cops knew our landlord."

"We never invited him to our house again."

-- lonedandelion

A Laundry List of Rage

"People who get cut off in traffic are probably the worst inane callers. Like, 'Oh so this happened three hours ago, you don't remember the road it happened on, you don't know the registration of the VOI, there was no traffic crash, and there is not even the insinuation that either party involved were under influence of substances?' "

"Noise complaints are similar."

"People calling the emergency line to complain about being arrested earlier (one once complaining about being charged for abusing the emergency line)."

"I've had a woman call emergency because their sister was refusing to share their food, at a cinema."

"But what is probably more insane is the serious incidents that are started by inane and petty things - once had a serious FDV between a mother and daughter - the mother stabbed the daughter after an argument over the colour of cupcake batter."

-- iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiUUUUUU

Some People Just Love Conflict

"I once had the cops called on me by my neighbor. There was a car parked on the street by his backyard. Not blocking his parking space in front of his house, not on his property, not inconveniencing him in any way. It was not my car or that of anybody I knew."

"Same neighbor called the cops on me for animal abuse. My dog was in my fenced in backyard with a bowl of food and a bucket of water in the shade. Told the cops I chained him up all day and night with no food. I showed the cops the pup and was just like why would I chain up a dog in a fenced in yard?"

"Same neighbor called the cops on me for 'verbal assault' when he knocked on my door and said it was against the law to leave my trash can by the road a day after pick up and I told him to f**k off and closed the door."

"The weird thing is I never did anything to the guy to get him to start this and from what I asked the other neighbors he didn't do that to them."

-- No-Umpire4788

Food-Themed Spats

"There's too many."

"I once got a call from a family of frequent flyers… a husband's wife ordered the wrong topping on a pizza, so they got in an argument and then she threw a ham sandwich at his head."

"Another time a call came from a woman who just got out of church and the drivethru to KFC was too long… and she wanted an officer to come out and help … 🤦🏻♀️"

"Fun times …"

-- karalynn1982

At Her Own Risk

"Not an operator, but a female customer once called the cops on my coworkers for scaring her too much."

"We work at a haunted house..."

-- Undecided_User_Name

Kept Trying

"When I was 5 I called 911 because my mom threw away some leftover McDonald's fries I had saved from the day before."

"When I was 4 I called 911 because my mom threw away some old toys of mine."

"Damn cops didn't arrest her either time 🤣"

-- Soonerpalmetto88

Thankfully, these are the worst of the worst. Here's hoping 911 operators are usually able to focus on what matters.

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

People Explain Which Lessons They Had To Learn The Hard Way
PM Images/GettyImages

Some people typically don't like being told what to do because they think they already know what they're doing.

That is until they stumble and land on their face.

Keep reading...Show less
People Confess The Most Out Of Line Thing A Doctor's Ever Said To Them

As patients, we rely on the expertise of medical professionals to be able to identify whatever ailments we're suffering through.

Keep reading...Show less
Foreigners Break Down Their Favorite American Meals
Jonathan Borba/Unsplash

Growing up, I had zero idea that the food I ate daily was "cultural."

It didn't occur to me until I was a kid when my mother had to gently explain to me that not everyone ate rice & beans.

She had to explain it because we were about to eat at a white friend's house for the first time.

Keep reading...Show less
People Share The Best Ways To Politely End A Conversation

Have you ever been caught in a conversation you didn't want to be in? Or start talking to someone only to realize you want to stop? Perhaps you were talking to a friend when the conversation took a turn for the uncomfortable.

Whatever the case, we've all been in those situations where we want the conversation to stop, but don't want to be rude.

When I was in third grade, I asked if I voted on American Idol that week. I said yes, since everyone seemed to, but of course I didn't know what American Idol was. Being pop culture challenged, I thought it was a ship. Needless to say everyone was confused when I was asked who I voted for and I replied, "What do you mean? I voted for American Idol!"

It didn't take me long to realize something was amiss, and I probably would've very rudely excused myself from the conversation (fueled by my embarrassment) if my teacher hadn't called us to attention at that very moment.

Luckily, the people of Reddit were willing to share their methods to politely end a conversation when Redditor Spritti33asked:

"How does someone politely end a conversation with a person who won't stop talking?"
Keep reading...Show less