911 operators have a front row seat to the moments when people are most stressed out.
These are the professionally calm voices on the other line when somebody calls in the midst of total catastrophe, a sudden tragedy, and imminent danger.
With one call coming in after the next, all shift long, it's not difficult to see how draining that job could be.
But there are occasionally calls that leave an operator chuckling. Some people choose to call 911 for the weirdest things.
Thankfully, a good 911 operator can sift through the the true emergencies and the strange, unnecessary call. Lucky for us, however, those ones ended up on a recent Reddit thread.
For some operators, it was all about the animal stories. You'd be stunned how many people call 911 when a weird animal mishap strikes.
"I only worked dispatch for a few months and I got a call for a fish being stuck in a woman's ear." -- jajison
"Did they arrest the fish?" -- AlienSandwiches
"I- I have several questions" -- The_Official_Dave
Narrating the Whole Thing
"I had a guy call in on 911 because he was concerned about a seagull he thought was injured in a Chipotle restaurant parking lot. Apparently while on the phone, he tried to pick up or check on the bird at which point the bird started squawking, then he started freaking out and I started having trouble telling them apart."
"Then there I could hear what might have been wings flapping, a brief silence, and suddenly the guy started hyperventilating and screaming he needed an ambulance because he was having a heart attack and that the bird flew off."
"I wasn't sure if he was being serious so I got him over to EMS as a precaution. Upon transfer and getting EMS on the line he got very quiet and said, 'I think I'm okay, I'll call you back later,' and hung up and would not answer on callback."
"I still wonder about Steven Seagull when I drive by a Chipotle."
"Not a 911 operator but during residency they had us shadow one during my EMS month."
"This woman called 911 3 times in 10 minutes for a service animal in a mall. 'He's here staring at me! No I don't care that he's helping. He just licked his nuts!' "
All Kinds of Wildlife
"I just certified as a call taker and got mandated for overtime (of course) on my first shift. Policy was if someone insisted they saw something we take it as face value and enter the call."
"Well this lady called me just after midnight and swore she saw a chupacabra on the west side of Orlando and Insisted in an officer doing an area check."
"Not too long after that a coworker was in on his night off and left the building. He called 2 mins later saying he saw a kangaroo hopping down the street."
"I can't make this sh** up"
The Great Pig Chase
"Former dispatcher here. My funniest call was a guy called in and said he wanted to report a pig running around."
"I had to ask a pig, as in curly tailed pig. He said yes sir he's running by taco bell now."
"I dispatch out animal control who gets on scene and asks for help. One of our officers assists and for the next 40 minutes or so I got to listen to two of the cities finest chase a young pig around businesses."
"Once the pig was finally caught it was determined the pig came from a transport truck. The driver said he didn't want the pig back so the pig was given to the humane society."
"Never did hear what happened to the little fellow after that."
And now, the moment we've all been waiting for: the steamiest reasons to call 911.
Professional Removal Required
"When I was a Fire dispatcher, I had to send a Squad to remove a penis ring. So there's that." -- bravosarah
"I'm just trying to visualize how they managed to get that off the poor bastard. Did they use bolt cutters or something?" -- SOUNDEFFECT94
"My aunt talks about a dude came into her ER with a titanium ring. They didn't have the equipment to cut it off so the firefighters has to come in with the jaws of life."
"Amazingly it went well and the dude kept his penis." -- Commercial_Nature_44
"One time a guy called in while I was training and stated he had cut his penis. When I answered you cut your penis?! The trainer smacked me on the arm and told me he said he'd cut his hand. She looked at me like the biggest pervert!"
"Then 10 seconds later into the conversation he says, 'Yeah I was trying on a rubber that was too small and I had to cut it off so I cut right into my penis!' She almost couldn't stop herself from laughing."
When a Kink Leads to Some Logistical Issues
"Numerous calls where someone has handcuffed themself to a SO during coitus and lost the key (if it's not busy this seems to draw most available officers)."
"Not me but a coworker: a person was pleasuring themselves with the handle of a scissors and it got stuck."
And others shared the moments that were so ridiculous they were almost cartoonish. Strap in for surreal images, absurd logic, and shocking circumstances.
Man vs. Machine
"There are funny calls that come in all the time. I talked to a pizza delivery guy who couldn't reach his destination because a defiant chicken was standing in the middle of the road. I stayed with him on the phone as he pleaded with it to finally move along. Truly a chicken crossing the road moment."
"Another time I took a call where a guy insisted he was in an argument with a man dressed as a giant Pepsi bottle. He said the man in the Pepsi suit had stolen his debit card and refused to give it back. Upon arrival the officers told me he was high as sh** and arguing with a vending machine."
Trying to Show Off the Guns
"A man requiring extrication from an Under Armor insulated shirt. His shoulder popped out of the socket while he was pulling it on, it was halfway on/halfway off and his arm was locked and dislocated."
Who Was She Expecting?
"My sister once called because she wanted to know who would be on the other end of the line. I couldn't hear what the person said but I heard my sister's parts of the convo."
"Sister: hello? Who's this? ... Oh..."
"Then she hung up on the operator. They ended up calling back and my dad picked up and had to explain that his daughter was just being curious."
Procrastinating the Call
"My caller reported her car stolen. When I asked her when she saw her car for the last time she replied 1990. Yep, 30 years ago."
"She seemed unfazed on why I was surprised by her answer."
Keeping It In the Family
"I once called 911 because I cut my finger and wanted to talk to my mom, who was a dispatcher. I called crying asking to talk to her by name."
"She was more pi**ed at my dad for not waking up when I tried to go to him first haha."
A Concerned Citizen
"Actual 911 operator here. So far the silliest was a guy who called, all concerned about the number of birds flying around because there was an air show nearby and he was worried the planes would hit the birds"
"Friend of mine was a 911 dispatcher. The funniest call he ever had was a woman who claimed she was locked inside of her own vehicle."
"After explaining to her where the door lock switch was, she was able to free herself."
"A friend had cops called on him cause he was doing 'liquid' at the train station. It's a form of dancing at raves where your hands seem to look like liquid."
"The person who called the cops was scared it was satanic or something."
So if you can, try to take a breath and double check to make sure it's a reasonable time to call 911. Although you can rest assured that if it's really out there, you just might make someone's day.
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Unless you've just realized a lifelong dream of becoming a doctor, finding yourself in the hospital is not a joyous occasion.
Whether you are patient, employee, or concerned loved one, the hospital is a place known for its high-stress elements, morbid realities, and involuntary bodily functions.
All of those common elements can be quite scary, especially while you're in that heightened state of mental stress.
Plenty of Redditors know that full well, and from personal experience. They shared their stories.
Many Redditors found it scariest to wake up in a hospital bed. Often disoriented, under the influence of drugs, or generally worried for their safety, the moments after the eyes open can be full of panic.
The In-Between World
"I was strapped down and on a ventilator. I woke up and I was on heavy drugs so I kept thinking I was in a very bad dream and and trying to get out."
"I only did that a couple times but I remember having to be told it was real and not a dream. Whatever I think is real is the dream. And after a few seconds it would clear up."
A Regular Refresher
"When I woke up in the hospital buckled to the bed and didn't know why I was there. Happened more than once because it was for a brain injury and I couldn't remember why I was there so I kept trying to escape."
"They ended up writing on a whiteboard at the end of my bed that I'm supposed to be there and stuff."
Way Too Public
"I had intestinal surgery when I was about 13. Recovery was about 7 days to be sure that all the plumbing was working properly."
"Well about the 5th day I had woken up to a fairly large wet spot covering my crotch and gown."
"Turns out I had a wet dream and was still unable to move easily to clean myself so I had to inform the nurse. I know it's not much compared to these others, but to a 13 year old it was a nightmare!"
Too Many Tubes
"It really wasn't that bad but I was 5 and very very scared. It was after waking up from anaesthesia after having my tonsils removed. Due to a genetic thing painkillers or anything anesthetic doesn't really affect me."
"So I wake up and I am in a huge amount of pain, I'm surrounded by strangers and I can't talk. And then I see the bandage on my arm from the IV and start crying."
"It felt like forever until my Dad and Mom were there. But definitely being alone, in pain and unable to voice it was the scariest thing for me."
For others, it was all about the screams.
The other people around them in the hospital were in far more pain or anguish than these Redditors, but there involuntary outbursts were enough to make them shutter.
A Lot for a 12-Year-Old to See
"Was about 12 years old got bit by a poisonous spider. In ER for it. The guy in the next curtain was apperently shot and stabbed with knife still in him."
"Nurses opened the curtain didnt realize me and my dad were in the next area over and so I saw a guy scream and holding in a knife in his gut."
A Tragic Twist
"I was in a car accident with my mom back in 1999 here in Texas. A large van ran the red light at a four way intersection and t-boned us. The accident was so bad they took us all by ambulance to the emergency room."
"The people who hit my mom and I were in the room next to us. The woman was heavily pregnant but explained to the doctors something felt off for many, many weeks but that her doctor in Mexico said the baby was fine."
"The ER doctors did an ultrasound and determined her baby was dead and that it wasn't due to the accident - they figured the baby had been dead for WEEKS."
"I'll never forget that woman's screams. It was heartbreaking. She kept screaming 'get it out of me, get it out of me.' "
"I'll never forget that moment."
A Pop and A Scream
"I spent some time in a psych ward as a kid. It was a bad place and pretty abusive. One of the staff members broke another kids arm and I remember hearing the boy screaming as it happened and afterwards."
"It was scary especially because we had no agency between being kids and psych patients so the staff had total control."
Others recalled the procedures they themselves endured. At the time, they were concerned, in pain, and frantic. They hope to never find themselves in that spot again.
"In the ER and was given an IV push for pain and left alone in a treatment room. I had a bad reaction to the medication (found out later, I can't have any form of opiates, real or synthetic, as I have a bad reaction.) In short, I tripped my fu**ing A** off, while bleeding heavily, and whatever they gave me seriously slowed my HR and my BP tanked."
"I'm not sure what was more terrifying: being fully conscious and aware in a body that is slowly shutting down, or being convinced there's a 7 foot tall shadow demon standing at the foot of your bed to take you to Hell when it's over."
"It wasn't terrifying but the most awful thing I've ever felt. I had a drain put in after having my gallbladder removed and the next day the nurse came in to take it."
"That things was in there about 6/7 inches, right up into my stomach and she just slowly pulled it out. Oh a still shudder thinking about it."
"Giving birth. I lost a lot of blood, I was lying in bed and feeling really weak and cold when someone from the staff came to check on me."
"I asked if that's what it feels like to die, she didn't seem to take it seriously until she had checked some stuff at which point she got others there and then last thing I remember is them putting some mask on me, thinking I was going to die."
"Reading the journal it was initially estimated to be 0.8L blood loss but it was more than double that I lost. If she had checked on me later, I probably would have lost more blood."
Hopefully, you never find yourself in the hospital facing such concerning moments like these ones. But if you do, know that you're not alone.
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*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm.
The person on the other end of a 911 call has a truly remarkable job.
For those who don't play that professional role, we hope to never encounter the 911 call interaction. But if we do find ourselves making that call, the moment is an anomaly in our lives.
The chaos, the panic, the racing heart, and the desperation are all emotions we, ideally, don't experience on a regular basis.
But for the operator on the other end, our call is one in a long line of calls they've received all day, and all the workdays before that one.
It's difficult to imagine being embedded in those uniquely urgent, emergency moments all the time.
Some Redditors who are on the other end of that call shared their experiences on the job.
WhimsicalxxButcher asked, "911 dispatchers what has been your most creepy/unnerving call?"
For a few, the most unnerving moments were the calm callers.
There was something just so eerie about how level-headed the faceless human being on the other end could be through such a desperate, tragic moment.
"I had a friend who worked as a 911 dispatcher and he always said the worst call he ever had was a ~20 year old kid who committed suicide by mixing a bunch of chemicals together in his car to produce hydrogen sulfide gas."
"He said that the most unnerving part was hearing him calmly listing off the chemicals, the type of gas produced, and the effects of hydrogen sulfide on the body (namely the almost instant death it causes at high concentrations)."
"He ended the call by providing the address of the parking lot he was in and saying that nobody should approach the vehicle without hazmat equipment."
"Apparently after that there was a whooshing sound as he dumped the last chemical into the mix, and then the line went dead silent aside for a quiet fizzing noise."
"I know that call screwed him up because he almost never talks about stuff that happens to him on the job. He quit a few months later to go into construction management, and frankly I can't blame him."
"A woman called me, saying she was going to kill herself. She was gassing herself. Gave me her name & address then said she was just going to lie down and 'go to sleep.' And stopped responding to me."
"I kept the line open, trying to get her to speak to me, and eventually heard officers forcing their way in to find her body. I guess she just wanted someone to find her body."
Before It Set In
"When I got a call from a 6 year old who got home from school and laid down to take a nap with his dad. His dad never woke up."
"The kid was so calm when calling it broke my heart."
"I ended up leaving dispatch shortly after. I was good at compartmentalizing the job for the year I was doing it, but it would've broken me in the long run."
A Horrifying Crescendo
"Suicide or homicide calls always get my hair standing on end. I've taken a few of both. It's always eerie how callers start off relatively calm then you notice them get more and more emotional and hysterical as the weight of what they've just witnessed sets in."
"I have taken calls from parents screaming at their dead child and sobbing asking why they did it. It's a creepy feeling knowing that they're standing there screaming at a dead body that's in God knows what kind of condition."
Other 911 operators were unfortunate enough to receive a call from the very last person they wanted to hear from: a loved one.
These dispatchers' unique position gave them the unexpected access to a family member or friend at their most dire moments.
No More of That
"My family member is a long time first responder, and 'retired' into doing dispatch. He heard the address (someone else was taking the call) and realized it was his daughter's house."
"He rushed over there just in time to see them wheeling her body out. Overdose."
"Five months later, he was called to his ex-wife's place because his grandson (son of the daughter who recently passed) had his door locked, lights on, but wasn't responding to his grandma."
"He broke the door down and found him deceased in bed. Overdose."
"He's very stoic after years of all sorts of traumatic situations but my heart hurts whenever I think of what all of this must have felt like. Like sand through your fingers."
Knowing the Address
"Not me, but my grandma. I was sitting in the dispatch office, (very small one only 2 dispatchers including my grandma) but she put out a dispatch that there was a gun shot from my best friends address."
"My heart sank to my stomach and broke later that day. He committed suicide."
When it Happened
"My uncle passing away. Worked as a small town dispatcher for a year or so. Had a bunch of messed up stuff happen on shift, but this call came in in the still hours of the night. Small town, so not many calls after midnight."
"I answered and recognized the name and address on caller id. Aunt was in a frenzy so didn't recognize my voice. I remained calm and got ems and fire rolling to them, but by my aunt's own words he was already blue."
"I went thru debriefing and mandated therapy for a couple other things that happened, but never really talked to anyone about this. I just try not to think about it."
"That was the call I figured out I needed to find a different job."
Finally, some simply had a front row seat to sudden tragedy.
These operators were flies on the wall when disaster struck. They never asked to witness what they witnessed, but sometimes that came with the territory.
A Holiday Tragedy
"My mom is a 911 dispatcher. Early on she said one Christmas Eve while working she got a call from an elderly lady who's husband had just collapsed(and died) from a heart attack and in the background Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas music was playing on blast."
"The lady was screaming and crying and begging for her husband to wake up but my mom could hear his gurgling in his last breathes. She doesn't listen to or watch Alvin and the chipmunks since."
What is it About Christmas?
"Christmas night. 911 call with crying child on the other end. A neighbor had run her car over her mom during a domestic."
"The mom crawled to the porch bleeding and the child saw the car coming back. I had her hide quietly in a closet with the cordless phone."
"The 10 year old child was crying and screamed that she hated Christmas. She was afraid of the police when they got there."
"I kept her on the phone until she felt safe enough to give the phone to an officer. I almost fainted after that call was over. Had nightmares for a while."
Close to Home
"Not a dispatcher but I handle radio communications for the Coast Guard. One night I was on the radio and got a call from an 11 year old kid whose boat had started to sink. He was out with his dad and 6 year old brother."
"They had been hit by another boat and his father got knocked unconscious. I remember the entire conversation up until the radio had gone underwater."
"They ended up finding his dad floating on his back alive but the two boys didn't make it. That one really fu**ed with me because my two littlest brothers were around the same age as the youngest."
Excruciating, and Imagined
"Probably the guy that called screaming that his friend abandoned him to die and that he could feel it coming because he had parasites eating him from the inside."
"He was coded a 10-96 (a caller with some mental instability) and I had to try and calm him down while the deputies approached him."
"I really hope he received the help that he needed and is doing better now."
A Dismal Day
"Another one that stays with me was the man who called in. It was the anniversary of his adult son having hanged himself. He'd now come home to find his wife had done the same. That date is always going to be a black day for him."
Looking Out for Number One
"I asked a friend this, she worked in it 20+ years and shes an absolute sweet little lady, she told me this one time a neighbor called them to say the apartment building was on fire and there were kids still inside sleeping in the neighboring apartment, but they didnt wanna bother checking the door or waking them up not to upset the parents (who were at work) all 6 kids and 2 dogs died that day."
"She expressed how people are REALLY unwilling to help someone in need when calling sometimes and it breaks her soul every time."
As It Happened
"I recently had an open line 911 call, where the person that called was the victim of a home invasion. He was smart enough to call 911 and hide the phone so we could hear everything that was going on. I heard him begging for someone to just take the money and leave, please don't kill me I'm an old man..."
"And I heard another male voice in the background swearing telling him he was going to shoot him in the face. It was the longest phone call of my life, I thought for sure I was going to hear this poor guy get murdered on the line. I was afraid to say anything because I didn't want the suspect to know or hear that the victim had called."
"Thankfully our officers got there fairly quickly, surrounded the building and caught the guy trying to go out a back window. He got arrested and the old man survived with only minor injuries from being punched several times. Apparently the suspect was super high and was a friend of a caretaker of the elderly person. The caretaker had mentioned the old man had money hidden in the house."
"I heard this story from my friends mom where she answered a call from a man who had stepped on a landmine. his mom told him to stay still and asked where the man was. The man was apparently near the entrance of a hiking trail and his location was easy to track, and during the whole time of the police arriving there, his mom kept talking but stuttering, as one wrong move would end up blowing the man apart."
"The police arrived with a bomb squad, and his mom heard an explosion. She had tears going down her face but then she heard the man talking from a distance. To this day she is unsure how the man escaped but the mine blew up. It's impossible to disarm a mine if someone is standing on it and the mine was about 50 years old at the time."
A Formative Tragedy
"When I was 9 my mom died. My brother (10.5) and I were home alone with her. Our dad had died 3 years earlier. She had a massive heart attack. My brother called 911 and they walked us through getting her off the bed and onto the floor so that my brother could attempt CPR."
"When he was ready, he gave me the phone (on speaker), and told me to turn around and face the wall so I didn't have to watch. I vividly remember sobbing to the dispatcher: PLEASE YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND, THIS IS MY LAST PARENT! YOU HAVE TO DO SOMETHING!"
"The dispatcher attended my mother's funeral and left the field right after."
"My brother is a trauma surgeon."
"I'm in nursing school."
"Very cataclysmic situation for all involved."
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/
Again, we hope you never have to use the 911 call in your life. Nobody wants to be involved in a sudden emergency or a tragic incident.
But hopefully, if you do, an operator like one of these thoughtful, sensitive Redditors is on the other end.
If you want to be ready when an emergency strikes--or isn't far away--it's so important to have a developed foundation of preparedness.
In the midst of a sudden crisis, blood pumping and heart racing, devising what to do out of the blue is just about impossible.
But if you've studied ahead of time, and even practiced if you're really good, you won't have to devise anything. You'll just act. And you'll act correctly.
You might even save a life.
Some Redditors offered a head start for emergency preparedness.
zephaniahmesfin asked, "What are some facts that can actually save someone's life?"
A good amount of Redditors pointed out the subtle occurrences that look relatively harmless but call for a serious emergency response.
Often, these tips involved going straight to the hospital. But knowing when it's time to go there is often the pivotal variable in saving or losing a life.
Don't Count Anybody Out
"If people stumble for no reason and sound drunk but haven't had alcohol, ask them to smile. If it looks weird/ one side is drooping, get them to a hospital ASAP. High chance it is a stroke."
"Plus people of every age can have a stroke."
Know What to Look For
"The symptoms of a heart attack are slightly different for men and women. This is one of the reasons women sometimes get diagnosed too late."
"Men: Cold sweat/ nausea; Chest pressure/pain; Shortness of breath; Pain in arm(s), back, neck, jaws, stomach"
"Women: Fainting/ extreme fatigue; Chest pressure; Shortness of breath; Upper back pressure; Light-headedness/ dizziness; Pain in arm(s), back, neck, jaws, stomach"
YOU WILL NOT GET IN TROUBLE
"If you are taken to the hospital and the doctors ask you if you have taken any drugs don't just think about the illegal stuff also tell them if you've had small things like Advil or Tylenol it could save your life." -- Atomicwaffle117
"Frankly this needs to taught in schools. I've known people who took stuff and didn't tell the doctor's, they either went into withdraw which prolonged there stay, or the doctor's have them stuff which interacted with drugs and they nearly died cause of it" -- xxluisvrewxx
"If your vomit looks like coffee grounds, you may have internal bleeding. Head straight to the hospital." -- Long-Cupcake
"Additionally, this kind of internal bleeding is further down the digestive tract and has a higher chance of being a more serious issue."
"coffee grounds means that the blood has been digested by your stomach. if it was just a tear in your mouth or esophagus (like from vomiting too much) it would be bright red." -- elaerna
Other people offered advice geared toward sudden emergencies that strike out of nowhere. These are the situations where the right knowledge, held deeply in the brain, can turn you into a first aid life-saver.
Hopefully you'll never use these skills. But it's best to be ready.
"Crawl out of a burning building, breathing as close as possible to the floor as you move."
"Toxic smoke rises while air remains more breathable nearest the floor."
Not Over Yet
"There's something that's called gasping. It's the fake breathing that occurs when you're performing CPR on someone that has water in his lungs (i.e. because of drowning). It looks like a fish that's trying to breath when it's out of water."
"The person is not back alive then, and you should not stop the CPR."
Quarterback the Response
"In an emergency around any other people, be intentional and specific with people. Do not shout into the void 'someone call for help!!!' "
"Make eye contact with someone, make sure they know you are talking to them, tell them what you need: 'Sir in the blue shirt. Call an ambulance.' 'Ma'am with the green jacket, go ask the barista for a clean towel.' 'You with the hockey mask and machete, watch this baby!' "
"Studies have shown that the assumption that someone else will do something is ingrained within people and often they will not help without specifically being talked to."
Finally, some people took the preventative approach. They highlighted either moments or longer term dynamics that clearly indicate a looming crisis.
Knowing what comes next can help prevent things from ever getting there.
Deprive the Oxygen
"Don't pour water on a burning pan/oil/grease in the kitchen, cover it with a damp cloth or towel. Water will make it explode like a bomb."
"Same goes for gasoline I believe - the burning gasoline will just float on top, still aflame, but now spreading more easily to something else flammable."
Ya Never Know
"If you have to eat crickets or similar insects, chew them. DO NOT EAT THEM ALIVE. They have spines on their legs which can cling to your throat and are very difficult to remove without a decent amount of force (i.e. you cant "shake" your throat like you would your hand to remove them)."
"If they block your wind pipe, you'll asphyxiate."
"I used to work at a pet store, I've had to explain this to quite a few people who wanted to do "Fear Factor" parties or dares or pranks."
"If one of your depressed friends suddenly starts acting really happy or peaceful, don't leave them alone."
"When suicidal people have a plan and are about to kill themselves, it can make them feel relieved which can make it look like their depression is getting better."
Do yourself a favor and study each and every one of these.
If you hold them deep enough in your head, you can "forget" them for as long as you want, and you'll be surprised when they leap back into view right when you need them.
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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 RecordsGiphy
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cruella?101 dalmatians GIFGiphy
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 Waterolaf GIFGiphy
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.