A good friend of mine is a 9-1-1 dispatcher in Kansas City and he tells me very interesting stories about the calls he has to take.
Some are funny, some are ridiculous, and some are very scary.
Today, we’re gonna focus on the DUMB stuff that emergency dispatchers have received calls about.
Let’s take a look at these stories from folks on AskReddit.
1. This is amazing.
“I was doing IT work at a dispatch center when a 911 call came in from a woman who said that she came home and heard a burglar upstairs.
This was in a small town that doesn’t get much crime. The town sent 5 of their own cops plus they requested mutual aid from two neighboring towns.
A total of about 10 officers cordoned off the area and set up a perimeter. Cops went into the house looking for the burglar.
They found that the noise was caused by a ROOMBA that got trapped in a closet. The vacuum was banging against the walls and the closet door trying to escape.
No arrests were made that day. Fortunately, no one was injured, either.”
2. I’m in trouble!
“She got shampoo in her eye while showering. She rinsed it out, and her vision was unaffected, but it, like, really stung for a minute.
She was 27 and could not be talked out of having paramedics dispatched.
When the medics got there, they couldn’t talk her out of going to the hospital.
She was fine, at least until she got word from her insurance company that they weren’t going to pay for her “frivolous and unnecessary” ambulance ride.”
3. Sir, calm down.
“I had a guy call 911 and wanted to report that a woman had stolen his money.
We were swamped that night so I kept him on the line trying to get further information. Upon asking a few more questions about the woman and her description it was obvious he was describing a prostitute.
He then began to cry and begged me to not judge him for hiring a prostitute. I promised him I wouldn’t judge him and I would send him an officer as soon as we had one available.
He hung up and I pended the call as the woman was no longer on scene. He called back on 911 less than a minute later and proceeded to want to talk about his hiring a prostitute until officers arrived.
My partner and I continued to pick up his call after we had to place him on hold several times to take other 911 calls during the 15 minute period it took for officers to get to him.
He ended up getting arrested for disorderly conduct that night as he was extremely intoxicated and decided he wanted to have a go at the officers when they arrived.”
4. Uhhh, the police don’t do that.
“Because their electricity went out and they wanted the police to fix it. Then got upset when I told them they needed to call their power company.
I’ve also had someone call because their neighbors tree was dropping leaves into their yard and they wanted the neighbor to clean it up.
And one of the funniest/most ridiculous: because someone’s automatic sprinklers turned on while they were walking their dog and they got wet. Wanted to press assault charges.
People call for the most PETTY things ever. I would always have them call back on the non-emergency line as soon as they told me the ridiculousness. 911 is for emergencies only boys and girls!”
5. Happens a lot…
“When I first started, one of the first calls I took was for a gentleman who stated “My butt sucked my vibrator all the way in, and I can’t shit, uh…. sorry, I mean I can’t poop it out.”
He was right. Medics aren’t going to try and fish it out, so off to the hospital he went.
As a newbie, I remember thinking that must be a one in a million call. 20+ years in, I’ve learned that it’s not. In fact “things stuck in the butt” calls are fairly common.”
6. They’re here!
“I had a woman call and tell me a UFO had landed in her driveway.
I was a little taken aback so I asked her to describe it while I dispatched officers using her exact wording. Of course officers scoffed but still went en route.
She said there was a silver metallic object that came out of the sky and landed in her drive.
Officers arrived on scene and there was a silver metallic object in her driveway .. it was dark out at this time so they approached it and found it to be a weather balloon.
So it could actually be classed as a UFO. It had instructions on how to return it so officers returned it a few days later.”
7. Can you come over here?
“To come to their 3rd floor apartment and change the TV channel. Somewhat innocuous, especially considering that the subject calling was quadriplegic. But 30 days and 150 calls with the same request later, it got pretty old.
150 calls in a month is nowhere near the record though. That record is owned by a local gentleman who called 217 times in a 4 hour period rambling on about “nazi zombie violence mayhem wounds” and “zircon ray technology.”
His phone was not GPS enabled, so we were never able to track him down, but at least when the nazi zombie apocalypse comes, he will be proven right.”
8. Some good ones.
“1- Mosquito bite on her leg has been itchy for over 4 hours. She was calling from Starbucks.
2- Her son got a bit of sunscreen in his mouth when she was a slathering his face.
3- Wedding ring won’t come off their finger (we get one of these calls every few months)
I could go on and on.”
9. Poor deers, but, hahahaha.
“Can you guys move the deer crossing signs?
I’ve hit four deer now and it’s just really dangerous for them to be crossing over such a busy highway.”
10. Sir, look closely…
“A guy called because an injured bear was in his front yard for “a few hours”.
It was a giant landscaping boulder that had been there for years.”
11. Oh, boy…
“Are strippers required to cover their nipples? ’cause I went to the local strip club and they put their nipples all in my face and I’d like to file a complaint.”
“The McDonald’s by the interstate is out of toilet paper. They had a sign on the door that says that, but my 4yo can’t read so he just used toilet paper off of the ground.”
“So I’m a man… And you’re a woman…. So I’m just calling to see how long I need to boil a hard boiled egg.”
12. This is an emergency!
“One of the funniest/most ridiculous: because someone’s automatic sprinklers turned on while they were walking their dog and they got wet.
They wanted to press assault charges.”
13. On and on and on…
“There are so so many in 9 years as a dispatcher. I once had an old guy call durring the last government shut down wanting to know if his cable was out because of the shutdown.
Then there are the infinite number of Karen’s calling in to report suspicious activity in their neighborhood, its always exactly the same, there’s someone walking In their neighborhood that doesn’t belong and they want them removed. When I press for more details they dance arround the answer.
I always made sure to make them say on the recorded line it was because they were black. If you’re gonna be a racist POS I’m gonna make you admit it out loud. Usually it winds up being their neighbor whose a heart surgeon or lawyer.
I’ve had people call because their neighbors blew leaves or grass clippings onto their lawn and want them arrested. I had another call because it was raining and their yard was flooding and they were pissed off. Ma’am we can’t control the weather.
The list goes on and on.”
14. Get this thing out of here!
“Someone called because there was a tiny frog on their porch and they were afraid of it.”
15. Be prepared.
“People call us ALL THE TIME because they are not from a rural area, and they think their 2-wheel drive vehicle can go over our mountain roads. They get stuck, and somehow think because they are on federal ground that we are obligated to help them. We are not.
Usually, these brainiacs who take their 1988 Accord over Forest highways also don’t bring anything warm to wear or any extra food either. When they do remember to bring something, it is usually a child that won’t do well in the cold overnight.
And when they get stuck and learn that AAA does not go 50 miles off of the pavement to come save you, they really start to panic.
Either you have $3000 for a private tow to MAYBE come get you, a LONG, LONG hike out, or you are truly in danger and then maybe a search and rescue team will come out – at which point you may again receive a bill for their services.
People, just come a little bit prepared, please!”
Have you ever worked as an emergency dispatcher?
If so, tell us some of your wildest and funniest stories in the comments.
Please and thank you!