Image by succo from Pixabay

Sometimes it's a knee-jerk reaction to call 911. Once an emergency emerges, often the mind begins to splinter. You want to be helpful and superhero-like but most of the time, we're all just grasping for a bit of sanity. That isn't a judgment. It's harder than you think to keep your cool in an emergency situation. But... just make sure it's an emergency. Too many people are commandeering 911 for things that are not dire. That's why there is 311... try it.

Redditor u/FormerLongTimeLurker wanted to emergency workers out there to share with us about their daily headaches by asking them... First responders of Reddit, what is the stupidest reason someone called emergency services and what happened?

I have to admit the last time I called 911... it was a non-emergency. But my roommate and I didn't know that. It was Halloween and a massive "something" slammed against our door. When we opened it the "something" was gone. Then all of a sudden I heard screaming and gunshots. And... I smelled an immense amount of pot. Turns out the massive something was our alcoholic neighbor who visited the roof and feel down the stairs on the way back. He quickly picked himself up and hurried off before we could catch him. The gunshots and screaming were our downstairs neighbors watching "Scarface." Their sound system is state of the art. I told the police someone had been murdered. So you can imagine how thrilled the neighbors --who were innocently watching a movie and smoking copious amounts of pot-- felt when answering the door to detectives at 2am. We all had a good laugh about it later. Well, my roommate and I did. The neighbors who give me side eye. I think the people on this chain can sympathize with my mistake.

Good Luck Goldilocks...

summer sunglasses GIF by Topshelf Records Giphy

Well, I once sprayed myself in the eyes with bear spray as a kid and wound up calling the fire department. My initial perception was that you put bear spray on yourself, not the bear. It was an incredibly rude awakening. The fire department got a good laugh about it while I vigorously poured water into my eyes as I continued to cry. Makes for a good story now though.


Not my Legos...

A kid called 911 because he wanted us to come arrest his brother for not sharing the legos from the lego bin.

You see, they were supposed to share, but his brother wasn't sharing. The caller's mom even told his brother to share, but alas, the brother declined. The bin had enough legos for both of them, but the caller's brother said that he was playing with all of the legos. This wasn't reasonable to our caller. There were too many legos for one person to play with at the same time. Therefore, our caller's brother was a liar, a turd, and he definitely wasn't sharing and Mom said he had to share so we needed to come arrest him.

While hilarious, we wanted to do a quick check to make sure there wasn't something else going on. We had a high degree of confidence that this wasn't a coded request for help, so we asked to speak to an adult. After confirming that there was no actual emergency, we ended the call and recommended no action.

Share your legos, kids.


Nana's Phone

My cousin was learning about emergency numbers. She stole my nana's phone, ran to my nana's room, gathered my siblings and called 911. Of course someone answered and she flipped out. She immediately hung up without saying something. The operator calls back but nobody answers. 10 minutes later, the police arrive. They said that they got a phone call from this location.

My cousin immediately starts wailing in the background. My nan'a calls for one of my siblings who tells her that it was my cousin who called because she wanted to see if anyone would answer. My nana apologizes and the police start laughing, saying that it happens all the time.


Sometimes kids are adorable. The next group of people just found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Who hasn't right? More often than not, lonely people will try to find connection anywhere and everywhere, like an ER at night, so once and awhile we innocently find ourselves as accomplices in a stranger's story. And some of us just get stuck due to our own malfunctions.

Just Visiting?

Former er nurse here. My absolute worst was a lady who called 911, claiming she couldn't breathe.

She had a pimple on the inside of her nose and it hurt to breathe through her nose. I rubbed some bacitracin on her pimple, gave her a bus pass, which she refused, demanded a cab voucher, accused me of calling her poor, then called an Uber.

Super strange encounter.


I need to be BALED out...

Obligatory not a first responder... but the dumb caller. Climbed up into the hayloft of my barn, and while I was moving bales around I accidentally jammed the door to the ladder closed. I didn't have any tools with me to wedge it open, and I couldn't pry it up with my fingers. But I had my cell phone with me, I always bring my cell to the barn. None of my neighbors answered their phones, so... yeah.

"911, I'm stuck in my barn. Can you send someone to climb up the ladder and open the door?"

The worst part? I work in the hospital. I KNEW every single person (and they sent two cop cars and a fire engine for some bizarre reason) that showed up at my house. To this day, I've yet to live it down.


Can I hitch a Ride?

Got a call for chest pains, patient gave a really generic story, got to the hospital and when the triage nurse asked what was wrong I start telling her about the patient's pain. The patient cut me off to explain she wasn't having chest pain, she just wanted a ride to the hospital because she liked the socks she got in the emergency room last time she was there and would like another pair.


Who can't help but be frantic when things we hold near and dear go missing. I have a small, black dachshund, her name is Juliet. Over the course of our ten years together she has sent me into panic mode several times. She either is doing it innocently or she 's the devil. (Still so cute either way) Every once and awhile she'll hide. The problem is she is compact and easy to miss in poorly lit spaces. More than once I've torn my apartment apart in search of her, only to find her asleep in my laundry. One time I was sure she was taken from my open window. So I called the police, right before they arrived, I turned around to find her staring at me form under a pillow. I believe with a smirk. There were no treats that evening.


Elderly lady calls and reports that out of her 200 ducks, 3 were just stolen.

Arrived to see an enormous mass of ever moving ducks and elderly lady says, "See there's 3 missing, just count them." Needless to say, you could count to about 10 ducks at most before you lost track of the ducks that were either counted or uncounted.


Me Again...

Not a first responder but my previous phone had a virus and would randomly call emergency services twice a night while I was using it. Few times I couldn't disconnect in time and would awkwardly tell the responder it was a mistake. I still feel bad for wasting their time.



101 dalmatians GIF Giphy

Young couple calls and reports that out of their 17 dalmatians, 15 were just stolen.

There wasn't much SY could do besides put up adverts in all the papers. After a rather unorthodox escape by the dogs themselves, an officer arrived for a followup to see an enormous mass of ever moving dalmatians - many more than the original 17 - and the young husband exclaims, "It's a dalmatian plantation!" Needless to say, you could count to about 10 dalmatians at most before you lost track of the dalmatians that were either counted or uncounted.


Hot Water

olaf GIF Giphy

Local lady made the news for calling emergency services because her snowman was stolen.


Guys and gals, let's all save emergency response for emergencies. Can you imagine a "please hold" response while someone is breaking into your home so that the person hogging up the line can get a police escort for a missing Scooby-Doo sweater. (Yes I've lost mine before) When in panic mode... stop, breathe, assess then choose action. Calmly. Call 311. Or learn your local non-emergency number.


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