911 Operators Share The Funny And Wild Calls They Couldn’t Take With A Straight Face
Every single job has its humorous silver lining. In fact, laughter and comedy help us cope with stress and incredibly difficult situations. And working as a 911 operator or an emergency services dispatcher is no different.
Among all the vital work they do, and the lives they help save, they still get non-emergency calls. Some of them are so funny, that it’d be a shame not to share them with the internet. That’s exactly what some 911 operators did on r/AskReddit, opening up about the most unusual, unforgettable, and downright bizarre calls they’ve gotten.
As you’re scrolling down, remember to upvote the stories that amused you the most, Pandas. If you’ve ever worked in dispatch, we’d love to hear about your job, so tell us about your experiences in the comment section. And if you’d like to see some more silly non-emergency calls, check out our previous article right here.
Bored Panda reached out to the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch to learn more about the challenges that 911 operators face at work. Brett Patterson, Academics and Standards Associate, as well as the Chair of the Medical Council of Standards at the IAED was kind enough to answer some of our questions. He pointed out that people should not hesitate to call 911; callers should not be discouraged from doing so and should not think that they're 'bothering' someone.
"It is certainly true that many calls to 9-1-1 are not true, pre-hospital emergencies. In fact, the vast majority are not, and some seem downright silly. However, emergency dispatchers are trained to handle each one as if it were a true emergency as the caller often believes it is," Patterson explained. "Public awareness is a challenge as we do not want to discourage calls for help. In reality, this can be a problem as well as some callers, especially the elderly, are hesitant to call as they do not want to 'bother' the paramedics, or firefighters, or police officers that they admire so much."
A little kid called 911 because he wanted the cops to come arrest his brother.
You see, their mom said that the caller's brother was supposed to share the legos, but he wasn't sharing. The caller's brother said that he was playing with *all* of the legos, which wasn't possible. There were too many legos for one person to play with all of them at once, argued our caller. Therefore, his brother was a liar, a jerk, and a turd and we needed to come and arrest him.
We had a high degree of confidence that this wasn't a coded request for help, so we asked to speak to an adult- confirmed that there was no distress and closed the case. Share your legos, kids.
PS: **If your kid ever calls 911, don't get mad at them**. We *want* them to call 911 if they think they should. We would much rather have them call 911 for something silly than have them not call when they should because they're afraid they'll get in trouble.
Patterson, from the IAED, revealed to Bored Panda how the job of an emergency dispatch worker can have a very strong effect on their emotional well-being. "The job of a 9-1-1 call taker is an emotional one due to the obvious impact of vicarious, frequent tragedy and, perhaps most overlooked, the intense pressure associated with high call volumes, prioritization of limited resources, and periods of intense multitasking," he stressed that employees work with limited resources.
"High on the list of emotional impact are cases that call takers can relate to personally, i.e., the death of a child about the same age as your own child, or the death of father, called in by the son or daughter who found him, when your own father is ill or recently deceased. High volume stressors also have a big impact on emotional well-being, especially when prolonged, as we have seen with the challenges of our recent pandemic," Patterson was candid about the challenges that dispatchers face.
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 s**t and arguing with a vending machine.
Had a grown man calling in about "a monster trying to get into his son's room " ..... he's the right kind of frantic where I KNOW it's not a mental health crisis , but I still couldn't figure it out . Well, hes a middle Eastern male with a real thick accent and I was having a hard time understanding, so he gave the phone to his son .
The monster had climbed a tree and was at his bedroom window . And it was as big as his dog . And it has hands like him but tiny .....
Wait, what ? Right there I told the kid to see if it had rings on his tail ...
They had just moved to America a month ago, and had never heard of raccoons . I couldn't mute myself fast enough , and the father heard me laughing . I think that's what helped calm him down. I explained what a trash panda was and welcomed him to our wild jungle .
"Most evolved 9-1-1 agencies have Critical Incident Stress Debriefing plans and teams in place to assist emergency dispatchers after low frequency, high-risk incidents, or any time the call taker requests assistance. However, voluntarily seeking help is a challenge for call takers and dispatchers as they may see this as a weakness or an inability to cope while their teammates appear alright," he pointed out that seeking help isn't as easy as it might seem to an outsider.
"A common problem related to all of the above is the lack of legislative standards regarding emergency dispatcher and call taker training. Emergency dispatch in the United States is very fragmented and can vary greatly from state to state, county to county, and even town to town."
We might know to call 911 when we’re in trouble from all the movies and TV shows we’ve watched, but the actual number you need to dial depends on what country you live in. For instance, if you’re in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, congratulations, the number’s still 911, it's very easy to remember.
However, if you’re in the United Kingdom, you need to dial 999. Many former British colonies and overseas territories also use it. Meanwhile, the emergency number in the European Union is 112. The same number also works in India and the UK.
Emergency services, no matter how talented and capable, have limited personnel and resources to work with. Folks call 911 for a variety of reasons. Some have incredibly mundane problems that they need help solving. Others don’t know where else to turn for advice. And some individuals are simply incredibly lonely and just want somebody to talk to—they want to be heard, they want to think that someone cares about them.
I called (the non emergency police line) once for my across the way neighbor playing Christmas music at all hours for seven months straight.
Turns out I live next to a Deaf building and the person had no idea that their music was 1) playing 24/7 and 2) so loud I could hear it in any room of my apartment across the driveway.
The operator was absolutely cracking up because I was like look, it’s July, I can’t take hearing holy night again. The call back I got when they made contact with the person was absolutely hilarious- the cop couldn’t stop chuckling every few words.
I was a 911 dispatcher years ago but had two calls specific calls that still make me laugh.
1) a frazzled mother called cause her six year old had gotten into the roof and she couldn’t get him down. She kept screaming about how we need to hurry...not because she was worried he would get hurt, but because he had done the before and last time he peed in the air vents.
2) this was before weed was legal in my state, but a college kid called asking for an ambulance. He was super worried that he was having an allergic reaction to the weed he just smoked. When asked about his symptoms he said “I just can’t stop eating Cheetos”.
Not me but my wife who works both as a secretary for a fire department and is a volunteer firefighter/emt. A lady calls asking if she can donate a building for a training burn in. After asking questions she finds out it's not a building but an RV. More questions. It's not her RV, it was abandoned on her property. Just a few more questions. It's not exactly abandoned. It's her ex-husbands RV. And he's living in it and won't leave. She wants my wife's fire department to burn it down. Wife's fire department declined.
Recently, Bored Panda spoke about police operators with a psychotherapist who asked us to remain anonymous because of how sensitive her job is. We spoke about dealing with the stress of the job and resilience.
“People working in emergency services are usually trained on how to react. The entire process usually has a very clear algorithm of actions, the call is standardized and streamlined as much as possible. When you clearly know how to act, there’s a bit less stress,” she explained.
“Usually, stress arises from confusion, a lack of clarity, as well as either too few or too many choices,” she told Bored Panda.
“If an operator is facing a very difficult situation, they can reduce their stress levels with the help of their colleagues,” the expert noted that the dispatcher can ask their coworkers or supervisor for help. They can also redirect the call to specialized services like firefighters or emergency medical services.
Caller called because they got their head stuck in a cat tree. With the cat stuck inside with it. Throughout the call I kept hearing like "ow, f**k" and "dude this isn't fun for me either" "dude, i know f**k!" "dude!"... Caller ended up going to the hospital for a minor case of serious head lacerations. Ok I don't really know the severity but I'm sure they got some stitches.
The other cool thing was that the caller was using an apple watch to call 911 because obviously they wouldn't be able to hold the phone to their ear. We get about a dozen misdials from apple watches a day, it was nice to finally see one being used for 'real'
So I work in the dispatch center for a department that serves a city who's population is just shy of a milli, so we get a s**t ton of calls every day. Naturally, you'll get some wild stories about scams, especially these days.
Because of this, you quickly become numb to some of the mental gymnastics that people do when they rationalize to me why they sent the IRS $5,000 worth of Best Buy gift cards that had to be purchased from 5 different Best Buy stores... Half the stories give me a chuckle, but overwhelming majority of them just cause me to feel bad for the person because I know they're not getting any of that money back... which brings me to a call that I took last year.
A younger woman calls in, she had to be in her late 20's or early 30's... Story starts off like a run of the mill scam, ya know - someone called her from the FBI, saying that she had a warrant out for her arrest and that she could "clear her name" if she sent them money..
*Well how much money did they ask for Biracial_Angel9???*
They told her that all of the money in her checking account would suffice... That's correct. Whatever amount of money she had would do.... So that's what she sent.. Which amounted to about $4,000.
**BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE!!**
After feeling bad for her, gathering some additional information, and beginning to let her know reporting options and whatnot, she cuts me off... She says, *"Well what can I do about the verification pictures??"*
And I'm like what are you talking about?... She said "Well yeah, they said they needed to verify my identity through their body verification system, so I sent them several nude photos like they asked me too... pictures from the front, the side, and from the back while I was bending over."
I was absolutely stunned.
She had to do a quintessential "ya there?" into the phone so I could come back to f*****g reality for a moment... At this point, I thought ***I*** was the one getting f****d with! But she was bawling her eyes out at this point so I made no assumptions, other than the fact that there was probably even more to the story...
**WHICH THERE F*****G WAS.**
Like a respectful kid listening to a bedtime story, I'm just f****n like "And then what happened?" She proceeds to tell me that they then threatened to send the photos to her friends and family if she didn't pay them more money...
"*How much money???"* you might be asking? In true FBI Body Verifying Agent form, they doubled down and said all she had in her savings account would be enough.... WHICH WAS $25,000!!!! I'm just sitting there in my chair like:
^(please, God, no.)
But she did... And I've considered getting into the scamming business ever since.
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.
The psychotherapist stressed that it’s vital to create very clear boundaries between work and home, as well as to have an unambiguous understanding of what the employee is responsible for.
“You have to clarify which actions were taken to give help to others and what is beyond the competence of the operator. It’s also important to vent the emotions that you feel at work,” she said, adding that emergency dispatchers should speak about the challenges they face with their colleagues or a psychologist.
“Two of the most important factors that help maintain psychological resilience are: the support given by loved ones and colleagues, and the existence of a safe social space to speak about hardships,” the mental health expert told Bored Panda.
This story sounds made up,, but multiple students I trust, the teacher, and school admin have all confirmed it to me..
A teacher at the school I teach at butt dialed 911 during class. He just happened to be teaching his chemistry class how to make meth while he did so. Apparently he didn't realize it until the office called into his room and asked him to come to the receptionists desk because there was a cop there, responding to his call.
He got the cop to cuff him, walk him back into his classroom, and say "This is why you don't even think about making meth."
One time, my family's 12lb bichon tripped on a phone cord that yanked the phone to the ground. My mom, who was cooking at the time, noticed the dog walking on the phone.
So naturally she yelled "Im gonna kill you dog" at Corky before picking up the phone.
Turns out the doggo called 911, and the operator heard at least part of the threat. So 6 cops showed up sirens and all demanding to search every room in the house.
It was a good break from math homework
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.
Edited to add (so you don't think I'm awful) HE was laughing, and said "I would have driven myself to the hospital but I would have had to drive with my arm out the window!"
“It’s only natural that when you react to dramatic and tragic events, you face emotions like anxiety, anger, a sense of hopelessness, and others. The job of a dispatcher brings with it various psychological challenges, so it’s important to ensure that the people who take up this calling don’t just use up their personal resources but also manage to recharge them,” she said that social relationships, hobbies, support in the workplace, and access to wellbeing consultants can all help.
The psychotherapist believes that people who call 911 operators when there aren’t any emergencies are sending out a plea for help that’s “directed to the wrong address.”
Lady called in because she thought Willie Nelson was having a cardiac arrest in her trailer, and she needed an ambulance. I started giving her CPR instructions, and come to find out when paramedics got there, she was doing compressions on the couch cushions.
Dear 911 Operators Reading This:
I would like to formally apologize for 21 year old me. I was drunk and dumb and when the call connected to dispatch and asked what the emergency was, I know I shouldn’t have answered “911, What’s Your Emergency?” With “There is no emergency, I am the Batman.” It has bothered me ever since I sobered up the next day and realized I was a real a*****e to waste your time when there was likely bigger emergencies to worry about. (My Anxiety is also paranoid I kept you from saving a life.) I sincerely apologize and am sorry. I also no longer drink, so there is that.
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 s**t up
“Odds are that the caller is having a rough time. A large number of them are probably kids or teenagers who aren’t being taken care of by their parents. Or people who have problems with staying sober,” she said that these individuals need attention and would like to be taken care of.
“When they get in touch with emergency services, they feel like they’re being listened to. Sometimes, even an entire team of people reacts to a single person’s problems. It might be that these callers do need (a different kind of) help, but they’re lost or don’t know better and try to look for solutions by calling emergency services.”
I am not a dispatcher. But when I was a child and like 6 I called the police from the home phone and asked if they would come play with me because I didn’t have friends. So they showed up, because they have to respond, and I got a lecture from the police and my military parents about the seriousness of calling 911.
Was a 911 Operator before becoming a Paramedic.
Had a lot of funny ones, but by far my favorite involved an all too common problem of a kid getting a hold of a locked cellphone and only being able to dial 911.
It was Father's Day mind you, had this particular kid (about 5 years old) call in at least 6 times but he'd never stay on the line long enough for us to get a good "ping" on his cellphone. It was probably about 22:00 local at the time, not early but not too late in the night.
Long story short we were finally able to get him to stay on the phone long enough by talking about how his teddy bear was "sick". We asked to speak to his parents and he told us they were in bed and the door was locked, so we asked him to go knock on the door, he then told us he had been locked in his room.
Okay..... I think we know what's going on now.
By this point we had an officer en route to this kid's house to go make sure everything was okay and to tell his parents the kid has been calling 911.
The officer arrives on scene, a few minutes go by, then the officer comes over the radio and says "S120 back in service, the teddy bear is 10-4".
The officer made his way up to the comm center and proceeded to tell us all that the kid's Dad answered the door wearing only boxer shorts and was more than a little agitated when he found out his son had been calling 911.
Apparently the dad had been getting his Father's Day "gift" from mom when the officer showed up.
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 pissed at my dad for not waking up when I tried to go to him first haha.
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.
1. Had a guy call because he dyed his pubes and was having an allergic reaction.
2. Woman screaming that an ambulance was following her with their lights on. Spoiler: the ambulance was not following her.
3. Asking the caller for the description of the man she's fighting with, "he's ugly." - Thanks ma'am very descriptive.
I could go on and on .......
I had what seemed like a maybe 5-6 year old girl (Judging by her voice and communication skills) call,This is how it went:
(Me)"911,Whats your emergency?"
(G): "hello,I dont know where my mommy and daddy are but i think they left a piggy inside the bathroom,It sounds like oinks and grunts"
(Me):"Sweetie,Why dont you go into your room for a bit and play some games?"
So yeah,A girl called cause she thought her parents locked a pig in the bathroom,But they were doing the deed.
Cop here. Was dispatched to someone calling in concerned about some pigeons just chillin on the side of the street. We did not respond.
When I worked at a local domestic violence line, Someone called in once to report a that they ordered a dozen donuts and there was only 11 and the store won't give them another one the next day and their husband is taking it out yelling at the kids, but she didn't want us to talk to her husband but insisted if she could get one donut out the place he would calm down. She had been in and out of the women's shelter so we knew he was a bad person. Well, he got arrested as he wasn't supposed to be there (restraining order) and she called us back (it is a small city org) and was yelling "she just wanted one f*****g donut not to see him arrested"
I used to compile these, so here's some of my "Calls of the Day"These are all genuine calls to 9-1-1 I've personally taken in my jurisdiction.
- There is a man with dreads and blue Superman pants laying in the middle of the roadway. Another caller clarifies, they are actually pizza pants.
- You're a little person who got mad at your pizza man for not wearing a mask to deliver your food, so you confronted him outside and he ran you over. Then the medical dispatcher mistook you for a woman on the phone and you got even more upset.
- Your adult daughter won't turn up the thermostat and you're cold.
- Your backyard neighbor has been loudly singing in their yard for the last 40 minutes. During the call they stop singing and start "barking" for some reason.
- Someone just stole an entire rotisserie chicken from the Spanish Supermarket and ran away with it stuffed under their arm.
- A spider bit your boob 3 weeks ago and you kept picking at the bite and now it's worse and now you want an ambulance.
- You found a knee bone under a tree near the medical clinic where you work.
- There are two 10-year old boys harassing the ducks at the park near the bench where you like to read your Bible.
- Your boyfriend threw an ottoman at your head.
- According to you, your neighbor has been taking too many pills from the government. He needs to eat more fruits and vegetables.
- There is a turkey failing to scale a retaining wall near the highway.
- Kids at the parochial school have been sexting. Parents and the principal are awaiting police in the office.
- Your ex put an entire Snickers bar in your gas tank and ran away.
- Your drug dealer took your money and hasn't come back outside. You've decided you're just not going to buy from him anymore.
- A man broke into your house and ran off carrying a pie.
- Eugene picked up a hammer and threatened to shoot you.
- Yesterday someone broke into your house and stole things including your smart watch. You went over today to visit your ex and suddenly your smart watch paired with your phone.
- You owed thousands of dollars of back rent to your roommates after you moved out. Now you've returned a month later, devastated to learn your old roommate licensed your cat in your absence.
- You asked your neighbor why he was in your driveway earlier. He said it was his driveway and flashed a submachine gun at you.
-A woman on coke ran you over with her scooter and stabbed your neighbor with something. You think she's still in the building visiting her mother.
-A woman has stolen traffic cones from a nearby construction site, placed them around herself in the middle of the road, and is now spinning in place, occasionally saluting.
- You ran over a handgun with your lawnmower.
- Your neighbor is mentally and spiritually trying to kill you, and that's why you smell "like a whore" right now.
- Your 16 year old tried to overdose on Zoloft and now they're on the front porch eating a pancake.
I was working in Dispatch when a call came in from an adult male who very slowly, methodically, and painfully explained that he had just recently been circumcised. Apparently he and his girlfriend/wife were having sex earlier than the doctor had said was allowed and suddenly his penis began to swell, and swell, and swell.
“It’s like…the size of a football, ma’am!” He said that. I’m totally serious.
So the calltaker, to her credit, kept her composure (unlike the rest of us in the room now listening in). She finally started to crack, so she put the call on hold and dispatched the call.
911 records everything as soon as you push the last “1”, so we went back to listen to what happened when it was on hold…
“Baby - no! No we can’t finish! It HURTS!!”
Some persistent badgering is coming from a female voice…
“BABY - Did you not see this?? The head of my d**k looks like a FOOTBALL!”
This was definitely one of my most memorable calls. While I’m sure it was absolutely traumatic for the poor guy, it was nice to have a legit near comical call as one to keep in the memory bank.
At the time this wasn't funny but hindsight and all.
It's Thanksgiving Day morning and I've just started my shift around 5 AM. I'm the only one working for the day shift and settle in for what should be a mostly peaceful day of hanging out, eating food, playing New Vegas, and relaxing.
Then my 911 line rings. I pick it up and go through the usual run down only to be greeted not by someone with a medical emergency, a fire, crime in progress, nothing like that.
She needed help with making a turkey. I told her this was an emergency line and she informed me this was an emergency because she had family coming over that night and she had to do Thanksgiving dinner. I apologize for her problem but inform her it's not an actual emergency so I need to clear the line.
And yes I went through our procedures to check to see if this was a domestic issue or something like that where the individual couldn't speak freely.
This was not that.
She calls back a few minutes later and hangs up upon realizing it is me. She calls back again, gets me, and I inform her it's only me working so this won't work. Before I can tell her that LE will come out to her location next time she hangs up.
About 10 minutes later she calls again pitching a sob story about her Thanksgiving being ruined and needing help to salvage it for her family. I let her know LE is on their way, she tries to call it like I'm bluffing until I read back her address. So she hangs up.
LE arrives and she plays dumb like she has no idea why they are there but everything is recorded and we've had her number and address ping with every call. She gets a verbal and they leave only for her to call me back to chew me out for sending LE to her home and scaring her kids so she wants to talk to my supervisor to file a complaint.
Shockingly this didn't get her very far but it did get LE back out to her place to actually issue her a citation for abusing 911 and tying up the lines.
Monday morning she called 911 again to complain about me and again got another citation.
Then there was the boy who called because his older brother climbed on the roof, couldn't get down, and so he panicked dialed 911 so we could get his brother down before mom and dad got home. The brother was apparently planning to jump to the trampoline but chickened out and couldn't climb back down.
Mom and dad came home while the fire department was getting him down. They weren't happy.
I’ve had people call in for nightmares several times. Can’t help you in your sleep, sorry.
Besides one drunk grandmother all these folks were well awake, sober, and legit just wanted to talk to anybody about their nightmare, instead of calling a friend they call 911.
No longer a 911 operator, but I had two.
First one when a young man realized what happens to some women during the first time. He thought he poked something and hurt her.
Second was when a man and a woman were getting hot and heavy - he ended up getting junk stiuk inside of a Gatorade bottle. Getting his junk stuck wasn't funny (it's a serious medical concern and could result in emergency surgery) - but his S.O. yelling in the background about how he could have just asked for a blow job and she would have given it literally killed me throughout the call.
A guy called in because his dog had bitten a seagull and was now “acting strange.” He demanded we find the bird, capture it, and test it for rabies. The whole circumstances were vague and he was unwilling to listen to reasonable advice(like that birds can’t carry rabies). He had the audacity to file a complaint when informed we would not be doing what he wanted.
Someone legit called me today to say “some guy has a pet rock and he almost got hit by a car collecting his pet from the roadway”
I have so many everyday.
Many years ago, I was dispatching for FDNY/EMS, and this man kept calling saying that aliens were stealing his welfare check. So, I sent the cops over to his apartment and stayed on the phone with him, and he said, 'You hear that?' (it was the cops banging on his door.) 'They are here!' ... I felt bad that I thought it was funny, but I radioed the cops and told them to stop knocking. 'Did they stop knocking sir?' He said 'Yes! What did you do?' I explained to him that he did the right thing in calling me, coz I have the answers. I then said, 'Here's what you have to do ...' I proceeded to tell him to put aluminum foil on his windows and the aliens would skip over his house. Turns out, he was getting his check delivered to his son and the son was paying his bills, etc. So, the next month, the son showed up on the day the check would arrive at this man's home saying they were safely being sent to him and that he didn't have to worry about the aliens getting it. This guy went into therapy of course after that. Freaky s**t that you have to deal with. I have tons of stories working for them for the New York City services for 33 years ... but that story stuck with me.
My time to shine.
*what time is it
*what DAY is it
*was that an earthquake?
*are those fireworks or are my neighbors high again and shooting at cans in the yard?
*can you make my teenage son wake up and go to school?
*can you take me to Taco Bell? My license got taken away for a DUI
*my sister took my cell phone. Can you get it back for me? She’s 11
*is that cute cop that arrested me last week working today? Can I talk to him?
*are you real or are you a robot? (I’m real) well then tell me a joke so I know you’re not lying
*do you recommend working there? I’ll need a job when I get out of the halfway house
*is it true all cops eat donuts?
*can I sue you if your dog bites me?
*am I still in America? (Yes. This Alaska. We’re a state) REALLY???? (really)
These are but a very few that have come in through my 14 years as a 911 dispatcher.
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.
There are way too many to choose from, but the first one that came to mind was a male in his 20s-30s calling the police on his father because he was "being unreasonable and refusing to go to church".
Any call where you think you have a dead body and try to start CPR only to realize the caller was hallucinating the whole thing is right up there, though. (The stories, I mean, not laughing at the person for likely having a mental illness and needing help)
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.
Not an operator, but my grandfather was a Sheriff's deputy that filled in occasionally for the 911 operator in our small Texas county.
One day, my grandfather was at the phones when our address and phone number popped up on his screen. He answered expecting the worst. The call went like this:
**911 (Grandpa):** 911, What's your emergency?
**Child:** *crying* He said the "S" word!
**911:** Who said the "S" word?
**Child:** /u/CrazedMagician! My brother! He told me to s-shut up!
**911:** Oh no! He's going to be in lots of trouble. Please put your grandmother on the phone, okay?
**tl;dr** my brother called 911 once because I told him to shut up, he thought that was a real emergency requiring a police officer, and we're lucky my grandfather answered the call.
I called 911 when I was 5 because our dog crapped on the kitchen floor. Evidently it got a laugh from the dispatcher, but my parents weren't happy. It was 6am and I woke them with the cops on the phone.
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.
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.
When my brother was a kid, he called 911 asking how to make pancakes, the woman was nice enough to give him instructions...
000 operator in Australia (ambulance only) but close enough.
A mother calling for her child, who lived on Porky Lane, who had been bitten by a pig (I had to mute myself so she couldn't hear me laughing).
The guy who called me from inside the back of a police divvy van after being arrested. That one took a while to work out, because you have to ask for an address, and he's like "well I don't know, they're going really fast".
The many people who call from inside the emergency room at a hospital because they think they're not being seen fast enough. So they want us to send an ambulance... to pick them up... to take them to the nearest emergency room... WHICH THEY ARE CURRENTLY IN.
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!”
When I was about 16, my friend and I were baseball announcers for a little league field. We basically only announced who was batting, so there was a lot of down time. Anyway, one evening I tried to call in to the local radio station to request a song (probably something by *NSYNC), and I’m met with “This is 911, what’s your emergency?” on the other end. I immediately chuckled and said I’d like to request a song. The dispatcher repeated her line, so I actually started to get nervous. I thought I had reached the radio station and that the dj’s were just playing a prank. Turns out the 4 on the phone would stick, so when I tried to dial 944-11xx, I never actually dialed the 4’s.
Got a call from a woman who was very upset that her husband went to 7-11 and came back without her cigarettes and didn’t give her a kiss. Wanted me to be sure to note that he had man titties, that she used to work for the CIA, and spoke multiple languages (she did not). Fun lady
Not me, but my dad. He gets a call from an old lady saying she can’t find her husbands gun, he asks “Where did you see it last?” And she goes “well I wanted to hide it from my husband, so I put it in the toaster, and then I donated the toaster to a thrift store.” “So Ma’am, you put the gun in the toaster, then donated said toaster to a store?” “Yes, yes I did” “Well ma’am I can’t he help you with that.” Toaster of doom we like to call it.
I only worked dispatch for a few months and I got a call for a fish being stuck in a woman's ear.
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.
At a preschool I used to work at, we had a 4-5 year old come in with her moms old phone. For some reason it was still active and she got pissed and called 911 because she wanted nap time to end early so we could play outside. The local cops thought it was hilarious, her mom was not as amused.
I briefly worked as a 911 operator. When someone called on the non- emergency line we always answered the same way- “Blank police and fire this is a recorded line, how can I help you?” We get a call on that line, I answer as usual and a very inebriated sounding woman asks the following: “Hypothetically speaking if my boyfriend had a few grams of cocaine and I called the police to tell them about it would either of us get into any trouble?” “Ma’am you’re calling the police on a recorded line.” “I know, but what does the law say?” “ I don’t know ma’am, I’m not a police officer, would you like me to send one?” “Yes please.” She gives me her address, an officer responded but there where no arrests. That one had me scratching my head.
I had a sweet sounding older lady call because people were setting off fireworks and she was concerned the wildlife would get scared and get hit by a vehicle. When I told her that the fire department was being sent to check it out she got furious, saying she doesn’t want the fire department, that it was a waste of tax payers dollars, and that she would never call again.
Not me but was told years ago (it was in the 80’s Australia) about a lady who was pleasuring herself with the phone receiver & got it stuck & had to dial 000 for help!
I’ve always imagined her screaming between her legs for help & being asked to speak up because I can’t hear u!lol!
I know a 911 dispatcher who received a phone call to have 911 call them back at a specified time to wake them up.
Not a dispatcher, but I did get dispatched by them. My favorite call was when my pager went off and I read aloud, "Woman bit by camel."
We were working in Malibu.
My dad used to be in charge of the 911 call center. One particular story I remember was in like 09 some guy called asking how much weed he could have in his car while driving through the state. They went back and forth for maybe 20 minutes of the guy repeating and rephrasing the question and my dad just responding “none”
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.
One guy calls and claims Dracula is his brother and Mickey Mouse is out to kill him and a swat team needs to find Mickey before he uses a machine gun at Walmart...Mental Illness is a b***h.
My friend used to be a 911 operator and got a call that went something like this:
"911, what's your emergency?"
"I need to take a *S**T!*"
"...What do you want me to do about it?"
Guy was about to s**t his pants and wanted to ask where the nearest bathroom was.
My uncle was a dispatcher in Chicago. He used to laugh at people who called 911 in blizzards because someone took the spot the dug out on the public street. Parking spaces are SRS BIZNESS in Chicago winter.
Former 911 operator. Funniest was a gentleman who called to advise a tree fell in a park. He wanted to know if I could tell him when another would fall, as if I was clairvoyant.
Or the lady who wanted cpr instructions for a rat outside a shopping center.
When I still got EMT call texts for my little hometown they would come in with like a 3 to 5 word description of the call. My favorite was “man stuck in mud”
I once took a call from a man who stated his pizza had been stolen from his door step and he was convinced someone in his building took it because he could still smell it. When asking the time frame of the pizza theft he said within the last 4 hours. He ordered it and had it delivered and intentionally took a nap leaving it out for 4 hours unattended. He demanded police respond immediately to interrogate all of his neighbors.
A guy calls my agency every so often talking about murdering gummy bear dinosaurs and something about strawberry tampons.
My second oldest called 911 on his uncle once, many years ago, because "Uncle wouldn't let him watch cartoons. " Police showed up but of course no action was taken but we all got a good laugh and then my son got a short lecture from the police about "proper use of emergency phone numbers"
My dad once got a call from a woman screaming her head off and when he finally got her calm enough to talk she said there was a snake. My dad, thinking the lady was under attack, asked if she could get away from the snake. Woman finally tells him that she's in the car and the snake is on the car. He asks if the windows and doors are all shut, she says yes, she's just afraid of snakes. Dad ended the call and logged it as a misuse.
I’m an elementary school teacher~ one kid called 911 during class to report that i was being mean to him. I didn’t really think he’d do it and tried ignoring him so as to not reinforce his acting out but when i realized he actually called 911, i had to intervene. The dispatcher was really nice though and offered to send someone to talk to the student, which i declined.
Not me but someone I know is an EMT in a rural part of my state
Someone called 911 for a bird “stuck” on a telephone pole
An investigation revealed it flew away
Our county sheltered several evacuees from hurricane katrina. Some were placed in a motel and meals where brought to them. One lady called 911 because her chicken was cold.
Not an operator, but I heard a call once where a woman called 911 because there was a baby lizard in her computer.
There are two birds (Sandhills cranes) fighting on my front lawn.
The water on my road is too high (Hurricane season) and people are driving through it.
Not what they called in for but what they said. When I asked for a description of the ex boyfriend that broke into the callers house she gave his physical description and then said, "biggest d**k I've ever had." Also had someone call me a "royal c**t" because there was traffic down town in a major city during rush hour and he WAS LATE. Sorry bud.
I was the EMT who pulled the printout that just said "Off duty PD call in. Man gave name 'God Jehovah Moped'". The man was surprisingly lucid and coherent. That's also not his legal name. I asked. The spirit gave it to him that morning and he was really excited to share it with everyone.
He caught a raccoon and didn't know what to do next...then proceeded to FREAK OUT when told it is not a police matter. Called back on 911 all day.
An old guy called in and wanted to know the time... he thought someone had been sabotaging his clocks around the house
Didn’t get hired, but applied to be an operator and was doing a shadow shift. Kid called us, sounded about 3 years old. They called us while playing on a parents phone. They called us ugly and hung up.
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.
Not an operator but my sister called 911 when she was 4 because the cable went out and she was very concerned about her cartoons