Everybody knows that being a 911 operator is a stressful job, and sometimes they hear things on the other line that stick with them for quite some time.
I’m glad the men and women who man these phones do what they do. Because I know I couldn’t deal with stories like this from AskReddit.
17. “He had planned on taking his life…”
A coworker of mine took this call: 911: where is your emergency? Caller: im at the bridge on [redacted] outside of [township] and theres a body underneath it 911: sir how do you know its dead C: i was driving through and i can just tell its face down and not moving at all. 911: ok sir is it male or female and can you tell if its wearing clothes? C: its a male and its fully dressed 911: sir how did you find the body does it seem like its been there a while? C: i was just driving by and saw it and no it doesnt look like its been there long. 911: ok can you stay there and meet the officer? C: yeah he should see my truck right on the bridge 911: ok sir and what is your name? C: my name is [redacted] date of birth [redacted] 911: ok thank you can you- C: [disconnected] 911: sir..sir..
Several calls back later and still no answer. Approx fifteen minutes later deputies arrive on scene and find an unoccupied truck parked at the bridge and the body of one elderly male under the bridge who had suffered a gun shot wound to the head approx 10 mins ago. The male had called in on himself. He had planned on taking his life and just wanted someone to find him but did it in a way that no one would be able to talk him out of it. I listened to the recording a couple days later and the most chilling part is this guy was 100% calm and collected.
16. “I was a dispatcher for 10 years.”
A couple come to mind. First, there was the elderly man who called and said, “I’ve killed my wife. Ill be on the back yard when you get here.” He hung up. Turned out that his wife was terminally ill and she wanted to die, so he shot her. Then he walked into the yard to shoot himself because he couldn’t live without her. This was both the most romantic thing and most tragic thing I’ve ever heard.
Then there was the guy who shot himself using a shotgun and his toe. His mother found him. I was trying to walk her through CPR, but the guy had been dead a couple days already. He was all bloated and purple. The gurgling noises coming from him during CPR were just horrific. Then the phone got disconnected. I tried to call her back and got her son’s voice mail. Kind of crazy to hear a dead guy’s voice.
15. “They both survived.”
Not me, my mom. She worked as an operator for about two years. One of those, around Christmas, she got a phone call from a payphone made by a girl who sounded extremely young, by my mom’s guess about 5-8. The girl said that her mommy was hurt, there was a lot of blood, and she was scared. She spoke to the responding officer a few days later and he said the girl was violently raped, and had multiple cuts over her body, varying in deepness. When they found the house after a few hours of searching, the mother had multiple stab wounds, was also raped, and was very close to death. They both survived.
This was in a small town of about 2,000 people. My mom was pretty protective of us for quite a long time afterwards.
14. “He was only 4 years old.”
About 5 years ago I took a child abuse call where the older brother, I think he was 7, was sexually abusing the 4 year old. When the 4 year old told the parents, they beat him to death. They called 911 3 days later when he was covered in ants and claimed he was just fine a few hours ago.
The details still haunt me. That 7 year old had to learn that behavior somewhere. 🙁
Both 7 and 4 year old were boys. The 4 year old was the one killed. I had to go to court on this after getting a partial confession, I wanted to scream in court at these people!
13. “Lots of screaming and crying…”
One time this guy called in on New Years eve, him and buddies were drunk and the pizza guy came to the door. It startled them so they got the gun out they were playing around with and went to get the door, like cops or something. Like clearing rooms etc. Something happened in the kitchen and the gun went off and shot the guy holding it in the head.
Lots of screaming and crying. I was trying to find out where the gun was so officers could secure it. I asked the caller if he could to take a peek into the kitchen to try and scope out where the gun was. He took a step in the kitchen and his voice changed and it sounded like he was going to get sick or faint. Since his buddies brains were distributed all over the kitchen cabinets. He sounded like he was going to blow lunch, so I just told him was doing a good job and to go back in the other room.
Most Call Takers are pretty used to the calls and put them out of their mind. Little 2 year old kids dying really suck. The calls with kids always suck. You just try to forget and go on.
12. “I still think about it all the time.”
I had a lady call me, withheld number, couldn’t find exact location. Wouldn’t give it. But she’s taken an overdose and didn’t want to die alone. I just sat and listened whilst she slurred her words and eventually stopped.
I left working that job at the end of last year and that call, I still think about it all the time.