911 Operators Share The Call They Will Never Forget
One of the first numbers people teach their children is 911. Every year, 240 million Americans call this number for extreme situations and the operators who receive the calls often deal with strenuous circumstances. Without them, you won’t be able to contact the police or a local hospital for a serious emergency.
While many calls have been for crises, some have been for absurd things. Some are odd enough for some operators to shake their heads. The following operators talk about the wildest conversations they’ve ever had on the phone while on the job. Whether the calls were serious or funny, they managed to keep their composure through it all. They never know when the next call will be their most important one.
#1 Gotta Wash Those Clothes
A mom called 911 on her 18-year-old daughter because she hadn’t done laundry in three months. The caller went on to explain in detail that her daughter did not pay for softener and had been wearing the caller’s jeans instead of washing her own. Also, she complained that the daughter never bothered taking the hamper to the laundromat or sorting the colors.
#2 Chilling In The Potty
I had taken a call pretty late at night. A man was walking in a sketchy park in the city and was approached by a few males who pulled a sharp weapon out on him. He was then cornered into a porta-potty. The caller told me: “I was locked inside when I heard one of the males say, ‘Let’s knock it over.'” The porta-potty was knocked over with the door facing the ground so he was unable to get out.
He was from out of state so it took him a lot of time to figure out where exactly he was. He could see out of cracks in the door to give me enough information about what he could see. Luckily, I was very familiar with that park. I stayed on the line for probably 30 minutes until officers located him. He asked me if this story would be on the news or anything like that because it seemed so silly. I told him not to worry.
#3 Destruction Piling Up
I work for a non-urgent police line and occasionally we receive calls that should have gone through as urgent. It was a night shift and a male rang in at about 2 a.m., saying “I need police now.” In the background, I could hear some property being damaged. No problem, I started organizing help and getting the address, etc.
It turned out, five people had been trying to force entry to the home. Now, when a call presents on the non-urgent line, we conference the call with their local comms center for dispatch. The policy is to wait 45 seconds for an answer, and if we don’t get through, the next closest major towns center is contacted. When I went back to him, there were 10 people.
He was screaming while more sounds of glass smashing sounded through the phone. I tried again to put him through, but no luck. My last resort was to put it through to the capital city comms, which took another 2 minutes. By the time the call was conferenced, there were 15+ people breaking in. That call just stuck with me. People need to use the right number because their processes are streamlined for that contact.
#4 A Heartbreaking Call
I answered a call from an older guy in his 60s. He said his wife had cancer and he found her on the bathroom floor. At the time he called, she was already cold and he didn’t want to do CPR, so I spent the next few minutes listening to their plans for the last few months she had been given to live. She just had her birthday a week before.
They were going to take a vacation to see the grandkids one last time. She also wanted to see the ocean. This one hit the hardest because I had just lost my grandma a couple of years before to cancer. My grandpa went into depression and stopped taking care of himself. I pride myself on keeping my emotions in check at work, but this one broke me.
#4 The Walking Dead
The day the CDC put out on its website how to prepare for a zombie apocalypse was the day a girl called. Apparently, some Utah priest was claiming the world was going to end that week. It was the first call I had that day—I was eating my lunch and had just stuffed a Chick-Fil-A nugget in my mouth when I answered the phone. She started out with the question: “Is it true the government has us under a zombie apocalypse watch?” I was quite taken back, but that was the funniest call I have ever had.
#5 A Harsh Listen
An older lady in her 70s called in with a sort of polite urgency in her voice, telling me she thinks she’s having a stroke. She had her grandchild at the house with her and asked me to call her daughter to come to get the child. By the time she was done giving me the phone number, there was a very slight slur in her speech. When EMS got there (probably no more than 5 minutes or so) I couldn’t understand a thing she was saying. It was fascinating, disturbing, and profoundly sad hearing someone stroke out on the phone as they’re talking to you.
#6 Sensing Some Broken Wind
I was a dispatcher for a residential alarm company similar to ADT. I would call people when their alarm was tripped and ask them if they were okay. One day, I received a signal from a residence from a glass break sensor on a window in the bathroom. When I called, the lady was laughing so hard she could barely give me her safety password. Turns out, she was cleaning her bathroom and when she bent over, she let one rip so hard and loud it set off the sensor on the bathroom window.
#8 That Child Learned Their Lesson
A kid who was about 10-years-old thought it would be funny to prank call 911. He started off by saying there was a fire. I could hear him giggling in the background. He followed that up with meowing at me over the phone. I managed to get a good location of the call and got his address. I read the address to him and asked if that’s where he lived. CLICK. Alright, got you now, you little brat. I had a deputy go out to the house as is our policy and he explained the situation to the parents. The deputy told me later the kid got the butt chewing of a lifetime. Super gratifying.
#9 Keeping Her Attention
An elderly woman called up and said she was having a spot of trouble. She was struggling to work the phone and told me she basically had a leg ulcer which popped. She was on blood thinners, so there was a lot of blood coming out. I got an ambulance out immediately to her, but midway through the call, it went silent after I heard a big thud on the floor.
I tried my best to basically shout down the phone after her to get her attention. All I could hear was very heavy breathing but no reply. This continued for a couple of minutes before I heard banging on the other end of the line and a voice faintly shouting the lady’s name. I kept trying to rouse her myself but was unsuccessful. I heard the window break and a couple of voices approaching.
They reached her and thankfully I heard her very faint voice respond. Normally, we don’t find out what happens, but in this case, I actually received a letter and chocolates from the lady. She said that she could hear me the whole time and felt reassured that help was coming. For what was a terrible job at the time, getting that made the next few months really easy.
#10 Will Loverboy Come This Time?
I got a call once from a lady who wanted assistance because she fell on the floor. She lived alone and had trouble standing up. It was pretty common, so I sent a crew out there as per the procedure. They came back and told me she was kind of disappointed. She kept calling for the next few days and after some time, we finally understood what was going on. She had a crush on one of my colleagues and she just wanted him to visit her.
#11 A Doomed Helicopter?
We were working a barricaded subject call with SWAT. I called out the helicopter and had them circling the area for what seemed like hours. We received calls from concerned citizens who wanted to know if we were looking for someone dangerous. After constantly answering the phones and telling people it was all fine, I got a phone call from a girl. She asked about the helicopter, I gave her the basic rundown, and then she goes: “Oh okay, so the helicopter isn’t in danger?” She thought it was crashing.
#12 Pulling Double Duty
I had to call 911 as a translator and nurse line operator for a young mother whose ex had given their three-month-old too much water. The ex had a visitation and was supposed to call if the baby was hungry, but instead, he just gave the baby bottle after bottle of water. Too much water puts young children through water intoxication. When the mom got the baby, she was in and out of consciousness and twitching. The baby had a seizure and lapsed into a coma. They couldn’t find a translator quick enough, so she called me back to translate for the ER.
#13 Cry Baby Cry
I managed to deliver five babies while doing that job. For the first delivery, the dad was on. The first thing he screamed was: “The head’s coming out, the head’s coming out!” For one of the other deliveries, they were on their way to the hospital when the baby just started arriving, so I delivered a baby over the phone on the side of a motorway. The sound of a baby crying during childbirth is the most stress relieving sound of all! One of the families wrote in to say thank you and I got to meet them and the baby.
#14 Escaping A Wicked Fire
I took an overflow call on July 4th around 9 p.m., figuring it was just another fireworks complaint. I spoke with an elderly lady who told me her house was on fire and that she was trapped on the third floor. Already, my heart was in my throat. I was trying to remain calm so I could, in turn, calm her down as much as possible.
My partner, who was the other shift supervisor, instantly took control over the dispatch operations. Once the rest of the room caught wind that I was on a hot call, they quieted down so my partner and I could communicate. In the meantime, while he was getting the fire service dispatched, I was doing everything in my power to make sure the lady kept talking to me.
I ascertained as many details about the room. I had her try to open the window because, at that point, the room was filling with smog. The few minutes it took the fire department to get there felt like an eternity. It really felt like time stopped. As the fire department began making an entry, the woman collapsed. I was not sure if she was going to make it.
After a few seconds of not hearing from her, I could finally hear the firefighters. There was a little bit of relief, but something happened in my mind that caused me to I break down in tears. In the 8 years of doing 911, this was the call that broke me mentally. The firefighters were able to rescue her–she lived and is still living despite 70% third-degree burns.
#15 The Unknown Path
I got a call from a lady who had been hiking along the side of a cliff when the path had collapsed in front of her and behind her, leaving her stranded on the side of a cliff while the tide was coming in. That call was intense because I had to stay on the line for almost one and a half hours, trying to keep her mind off the pain that was in her legs and helping the emergency service locate her. In the end, the police found her and helped her get to safety.
#16 Hiding From A Break In
I’m an operator for ADT. I had a little girl about 13 years old call in about a tripped burglar alarm. She gave the correct password and said the alarm was legitimate. She was hiding in her bedroom closet whispering and said the intruder was definitely still in the house. I had someone transfer over so they could stay on the line with her while I called the cops.
I explained the situation to her and she called in the officers. She was able to stay on the line with the girl until the cops arrived. By the time they did, the burglar was gone, so nothing terrible happened. However, that girl’s sense of security must have been shattered from that incident. At least she wasn’t hurt. Invest in burglar alarms for your house, people.
#17 Love Kept Them Together
She was a 72-year-old female who had collapsed in front of her husband and stopped breathing. When I answered the phone, he said, “What do I do first? She’s not breathing and I’m by myself…” I told him to get the door unlocked before we started doing chest compressions. Halfway through them, his back started hurting.
I told him that I didn’t want him to hurt himself and he told me, “I can’t stop, I love her. We just celebrated 50 years together.” Then, he started saying things like, “You can’t leave me. You’re all I have you can’t die, I love you.” I freaking lost it. I’ve never cried on the phone but I did that day. To my great delight, they got her back. They visited one day and made me cry all over again. I love them so much.
#18 Mama’s Just Having A Snooze
A child caller, about six years old, called 911 on his mom’s cell phone but disconnected before saying anything. The phone wasn’t connected long enough to even get an address. I called back and the kiddo said his mom wouldn’t wake up. “I even hit her with my plastic sword.” He didn’t know his address and couldn’t really read. After about 45 minutes, we managed to get the mom’s name and we tracked down the complex they lived in (it was in a neighboring city). I called the neighboring city back later to find out the mom took a sleeping pill and laid down for a nap. She was fine. Teach your kids their address!
#19 Don’t Have A Cow, Man
I worked for several years at an ambulance district that covered many rural areas. We were 911 for 31 different municipalities spanning both sides of the Mississippi River. One day, a sick call came in for a male in distress. The caller apologized repeatedly, saying they had no street signs. The instructions included: “Turn left at the green barn. If you see the cows, you have gone too far.”
I kid you not, it had the whole room laughing. I passed the information to the dispatchers who passed it to the rig. For 25 minutes, we listened to the confused medics who were unable to find them. All the while, I was on the line with the caller who just kept repeating to turn at the green barn. After some time, the caller went silent. When he spoke again, he coughed, apologized, and said the barn had been painted red the week prior. This is rural 911 life folks. You gotta do what you can and sometimes just roll with it!
#20 Breathing New Life
It was the wee hours of the morning when the call came in. The woman was frantic and hysterical as her six-month-old infant was unconscious and not breathing. I got the call entered, then started trying to walk her through infant CPR. I had to speak a little more forcefully than normal to get her attention and break through the hysterics to get her to listen to me, but finally, she did and started CPR. I kept pace for her and kept encouraging her until responders got on scene and took over. They were able to get a pulse back and by the time they got to the hospital, the infant was breathing on its own again. I will always remember that one, because even if I never have another successful CPR call, at least it made a difference once when it really counted.
#21 High-Speed Tears
I was a police officer for a short time. One night, there was a high-speed pursuit in another part of the county. They eventually got the car to stop, which was good. Later on that night, we all stood around the sergeant’s desk to listen to the 911 call the guy made as he was being pursued. He was sobbing uncontrollably pretty much the entire call which is terrifying considering he was easily doing over 90 mph.
#22 Clean As A Whistle
At about 7 a.m., a young female called in. She was house sitting and could hear someone trying to break in through the garage. Our city runs north to south and the PD is towards the south side of town. She was at the very north end in a nice neighborhood where nothing ever happened. It was early in the morning with nothing going on, and most officers had just come on duty.
Everyone started towards the address, but it was going to be about a 10-minute code run. The caller was hiding in a closet, petrified. I had asked all the questions I could think of at this point and just kept telling her to let me know if she heard anything different. She could still just hear banging on the door to the garage. Suddenly, during a quiet moment, she yelled out, “Oh my God!” After I picked up my heart from the floor, I said, “What happened? Tell me.” She said, “I think it’s just the washing machine.” Yeah, it was on spin cycle banging up against the wall.
#23 Words Will Never Hurt Me
A child caller, probably a 10-year-old male, called 911, didn’t respond for a few seconds, then very quietly said: “You’re a witch” and hung up. It was so funny the way he said it though—it was like he had just learned the word and was testing it out to see how it sounded. The call was over in 5 seconds, we didn’t get a GPS ping, and he didn’t really sound like he was in distress so we didn’t send out any response.
#24 Taking Matters In Their Own Hands
One night, I got a call from a guy, as calm as can be, who said he needed help. Honestly, I thought it was a noise complaint. I got his address and information and asked what was going on. He said his wife was in labor. I straightened up a little bit and he said she had delivered one and it was not breathing. I told him we needed to do CPR.
As calm as can be, he said, “I just can’t, they’re both stillborns.” For some reason, I still didn’t understand, since I was not a doctor. I sat on the phone as he coached her through delivering the other, offered the obligatory CPR again, which he again declined. And then just listened to them cry until the fire department got there. In over a decade, it’s the only time I’ve cried on a call. Being a twin myself, I just can’t fathom my parents having to go through that. It gave me chills just typing this again after all these years.
#25 Fill ‘Er Up!
I had a lady call who was sobbing so hard I could barely understand her. I determined it wasn’t a medical issue, but she wasn’t making much sense through the sobbing. I finally got her to calm down a little so she could relay what the issue was. She said that she was at a full-serve gas station (I didn’t even know those even existed anymore) and the attendant had pumped too much gas into her car.
She had only asked for $20 and they had filled her tank. Then, she broke down sobbing. I asked her if the attendant was being rude or if they were threatening her (because I still couldn’t figure out what the crying was all about). She said, “No, the attendant apologized and they gave me a receipt for the gas.” “OK”, I said, “Then what is the issue?” She burst into tears again and said that she was afraid they’d chase her down if she tried to leave and say that she’d stolen the gas.
I went over what the attendant said to her again, that clearly the attendant acknowledged it was a mistake, so she was free to leave. She was still sobbing when I said I had to let her go because this was not a matter for 911. The very next call I got came in on the non-emergency line and it was the attendant from the gas station. She was super worried about the lady having the meltdown over getting at least $20 in free gas. She was pretty sure the lady wasn’t fit to drive due to all of the tears. The attendant was just as baffled as I was over the lady’s reaction to free gas.
#26 Behold This Creation!
My favorite call is from a guy we hear from pretty regularly, once every couple of weeks or so. This guy is absolutely nuts; completely out of touch with reality. He’s the kind of person who calls to say he saw an alien or what have you. About a year ago, he called, giving us his normal routine, announcing himself as whatever character he thought he was for the day, and rambling for about 10 minutes to inform us of critical information. This time, he wanted to make sure we knew he had “created life in his living area.” He said he was sitting on the couch when from nothing spawned a floating four-foot long creature he described as having the wings, body, and legs of a dragonfly, the tail of a scorpion, and the head of a hammerhead shark. He’s a strange guy.
#27 Not Ready For The Ring
It was one of my first calls—I had a young girl call to say that she was about to run away because she was being encouraged into an arranged marriage and felt she couldn’t say no to her family. She asked that when she runs away we do not look for her, no matter who calls to say that she’s missing. It stumped me because no matter how much training you go through or role plays you enact, you can never be fully prepared for what may come in and this was a scenario I hadn’t even thought about before.
I managed to calm the girl down and go over the differences between an arranged marriage and a forced marriage, the latter being illegal with protections available. Everyone should have the right to choose who to marry and when. I had to explain that we can’t ignore a report of missing persons, but then made her aware of the various support available to her and the charities that specialize with similar circumstances so she didn’t feel she had to go through this alone. I really feel like I could have done more for the girl and haven’t been able to shake that feeling since.
#28 Playing Dress Up
A man rang up saying his neighbor was spying on him in order to find something to blackmail him with. I asked why he thought that and he said he could hear cameras around his house. I asked why he thought his neighbor would want to blackmail him. He said they didn’t get on. I asked what his neighbour could possibly use as blackmail. He said, “Sometimes I like to dress up as a baby.”
#29 Get Off My Lawn
One time, someone called 911 to say that their neighbor hadn’t mowed their lawn in weeks and that was against a town ordinance. The neighbor in question was a cop in town. It was a small town, so this was all pretty hilarious.
#30 Changed His Mind
Before I became a cop, I was a dispatcher at a big department. This story is short, but I thought it was hilarious. A guy called in at about 1 a.m. and as soon as I answered, he yelled, “THE POLICE ARE HARASSING ME OUT HERE!” After yelling this in my ear, he went quiet. So I asked him, “Okay…Well, what exactly would you like us to do? Would you like to speak with a supervisor?” He once again yelled, “THE POLICE ARE HARASSING ME!” So I asked him this time, “Okay sir, you called the police department, what do you want me to do? Send more police?” He took a long pause to think it over. “Naw I’m good man, screw the police.” Then he hung up. Also as a side note, none of our officers were even close to where he called in from.
#31 Ruined Their Future Forever
A group of men who were camping out in a parking lot said there was this girl walking around and pulling on their truck handles. They said she looked intoxicated. We kept them on the line to get extra information. Eventually, she found a door handle that opened and climbed inside the truck. The guys were laughing but refrain from stopping her when all of a sudden, one of the guys realizes his keys were in the truck.
Now, the tipsy girl had a truck. She took off, jumped a few curbs and left the parking lot. We could hear the guys joking on their buddy who owned the truck. Then he then realized…”Oh, my weapon is in there.” So now, we had a possible intoxicated college student driving a stolen vehicle with a weapon inside. Officers started searching the area and one of them stumbled across a truck in a ditch that matched the description.
He searched the truck and didn’t find anyone. Another officer in the area found a girl walking down the road. He stopped her and began questioning her. We could hear her when his mic opened and you could tell she was tipsy. They asked her some questions but she claimed she had no idea what they were talking about. She was more concerned about why her cell phone wasn’t working… The officer looked at it and realized she was holding a GPS unit.
The other officer searched the truck and found her cellphone, but she still claimed she had nothing to do with it. So they took the GPS and clicked on the home shortcut, which led to the address that the truck was registered to, oops. The girl was arrested for a whole bag of charges. The crazy thing is, she was a local student at a prestigious law school set to graduate in a month. The school has a very strict zero-tolerance policy. All that hard work and she screwed herself.
#32 Keep Your Chin Up
I had a mom call 911 for her teenage son because he was not breathing. He had some rare form of vocal cord dysfunction where his vocal cords tightened so much that he couldn’t breathe. 911 dispatchers have guide cards to help with common ailments. The card for someone who is not breathing instructs you to give CPR.
The boy was still conscious, but he just couldn’t breathe, so CPR would’ve been pointless and just giving rescue breaths would have possibly torn his vocal cords, or more likely, would have been completely ineffective. I had to think back to my voice lessons as a child. Raising the chin lengthens the vocal cords. I told mom to have the boy raise his chin.
He raised his chin, and I heard a huge gasp of air! It had worked! Then mom says excitedly, “He took a breath! Oh my God, he took a breath!… But now he can’t exhale!!” If raising the chin lengthens the cords, then lowering it must loosen them, right? So I told her to have him lower his chin to his chest. And by some miracle, he was able to exhale! We did this chin raising and lowering until the ambulance arrived and they could get him to a bariatric chamber for treatment.
#33 Throw That Bracket Out
My most recent memorable one came from a pocket dial. They’re pretty common, and the GPS for this located a spot in the rougher parts of the city. So I’m listening in, waiting to see if it’s a pocket dial or if someone is calling and unable to talk. Just as I pull the phone away from my head to hang up and call them back, I finally hear someone.
I hear some guy yell out, “Hey! Hey, you done screwed up now son!!!” Oh man, what the heck is this I wonder as I put the phone close to my ear and start re-bidding the GPS to get a better idea of where this might be. “Man, ALL your brackets are screwed up now!” And then I heard a lot of laughing. It was the first night of March Madness. I laughed to myself and hung up.
#34 Stranded In The Flood
It was at about 5 a.m. I’d already taken multiple calls from people trapped in flood waters but all of them were able to get to safety. My next 911 call was similar but the water was rushing much faster over the road. I was onto pre-arrival instructions, telling the caller to climb out of the window and onto the windshield. The caller then told me that she was 400+ pounds and so was her husband in the passenger seat. There were no other options but to stay in the car and wait for responders.
The caller was constantly asking me if they were going to die. The fear in her voice each time she talked kept getting higher. While waiting for responders, the water was now coming in the car and filling part of the floorboards. Deputies who were waiting on the edge of the water keyed up on the radio and said the car was starting to move with the water.
Finally, a few minutes later, the fire department was arriving. Without even a goodbye, I hung up and answered the next 911 call. Later, I talked to one of the deputies on-scene and he told me he thought he was going to watch them die. But, luckily the firefighters were able to get both people to safety.
#35 The Bee’s Knees
I had a woman call and say she was in a car accident. She explained that she was okay, but the man she hit was angry. All of a sudden, I heard her scream, “OH GOD, NO!”, followed by a good two minutes of her screaming and crying. She wouldn’t respond to me. I sent deputies to her location and continued to try to get her attention. Eventually, she got back on the phone while trying to catch her breath. I asked her what happened and she calmly replied, “A bee flew inside my car. Sorry.”
#36 How’s The Weather?
I worked for a tiny community and got infuriating calls on 911 from older people like: “What time does the library open?” This was at around 3 a.m. My response? “Sir, this is an emergency line. Please do not call this line for non-emergencies.” He called back a few minutes later on the non-emergency line. And then this one: “I’m traveling later today, what is the weather going to be like?” Again, this call was at around 3 a.m.
#37 Leave Kermit Alone
A husband and wife called to make a noise complaint because their neighbor’s yard had a lot of “frogs making noise” and they needed to be up early. They felt we should find a way to make the homeowner quiet the frogs, which by the way are spring peepers and can be quite loud. The wife was on the phone and in the background, the man was going, “Did you tell him we need to get up early?!?” She also informed me they almost called three days earlier because there was a lot of mosquitoes, but then the frogs showed up.
#38 Animals Must Hate Her
Some lady called in sounding like a family member had died. She hit a raccoon. We wanted her to stick around to point the warden in the right direction so he could dispatch it. She couldn’t because she had an injured turkey in the back of the car already and she was bringing it back to rehab. I can’t make this stuff up.
#39 A Christmas Disaster
I was working nights on Christmas Eve and took a call about 11:30 pm. The female caller had been at her parents with her son and had come back to get his Christmas gifts, only she’d been burgled and the presents were gone. Not only that, they had taken all the clothes out of the wardrobes and food out of the cupboards. The anguish in her voice really got to me. My daughter was the same age as her son, so I had a lot of empathy. At that time, there was nowhere she could go to replace any of it. Really heartbreaking.
#40 Do Not Go In There!
Being in northern Nevada, we encounter a variety of people mixed between the city and some pretty country folk. One day, we got several calls about a non-injury accident; pretty mundane, until unexpectedly, we started getting calls that one party fled the scene. Now we had a possible hit and run. We were getting calls from the frantic other party and a do-gooder that was on the scene. Police spent several minutes looking for the suspect, but they had no luck.
A couple of minutes later, we got a call from the driver who fled the scene. He was calling from the Chili’s down the street, and in the most country accent you can imagine, he said, “Hey, sorry for leaving that accident, I was standing there waiting for you guys, and it took so long. I almost went #2 in my britches.” It took everything I had to stop from laughing. I found out where he was, directed officers and they responded for the normal report. No word on the damage done to the Chili’s bathroom.
#41 Playing The Right Cords
My most memorable call was about a month after I got signed off, on a Saturday night from one of our BFE counties. This older, southern AA grandma and her family had just arrived home from a dinner out in the city. They found a box in front of their door, connected to the doorknob by electrical cords. It was TICKING.
I, in my newbishness, did not have all our 10 codes memorized at the time. So after I had gotten all her information, I picked up my cheat sheet trying to figure out how to code a possible bomb. As I was scanning my code sheet, the grandma piped back up on the phone. “It’s okay, they’re going to kick it off of the porch.”
This did not register for a second, and the first words out of my mouth were “Wait…what?” My heart stopped, thinking the worst was about to happen. Then, the grandma said, “Oh it’s okay, it was just some electrical cords.” I’m extra grateful they didn’t get blown up, because I would have sounded REAL DUMB on national news with “Wait…what?”
#42 Bird Is The Word
I answered a 911 call at a California university, and in our training, we are taught that even if it doesn’t seem like an emergency to you, it might be an emergency for the caller. Early in my career, I answered a call and heard a concerned young man on the line: “Um, there’s, like, this really big bird over here?” It was a wild turkey. After confirming that the caller and the turkey were in no danger, I told the caller that it was a common wild animal in our area (“like a big pigeon”) and he could go about his business. I got calls like this at least once a year.
#43 Where’s Bullwinkle When You Need Him?
The lady who called about the squirrel in her back yard with a yogurt cup on its head. “No, ma’am, there’s nothing the police can do about it.” “Yes ma’am, the squirrel will be fine. It got its head in there, it can get its head out.”
#44 Great Suits For A Robbery
One of my favorites: This happened at around 3 a.m. A store clerk called 911 and told me he had a man in his store who asked him to call. I asked him to place the man on the phone. He was very excited, saying he needed to report a robbery occurring at a nearby bank. “What do you mean by robbery, sir?” “Well, there are two men with shovels… shoveling the money into trash bags!!” “Can you describe them for me?” “Yes!! They are wearing invisible space suits, but please… I don’t want anyone to get hurt. Proceed with caution… there are baby bunny stuffed animals here.”
#45 She’s So Talkative!
There was this woman that was about 94 years old and had serious dementia but still lived at home. Around 6 p.m., when her caretaker left her, she started calling the police station I worked at like, 20 times a night, which was sometimes annoying but most of the time actually really funny. She would just scream in the phone and mumble about all the crimes that were currently going on while we would just put her on speaker. After about 30 seconds, she would always just hang up just to call back a few moments later.