They call 911 an emergency hotline because it is, in fact, meant for emergencies. We are taught the proper procedure for reporting incidents that call for urgent attention at a very young age. Yet, it appears there are some people who still manage to live and breathe, despite not understanding the importance of dialing those three very important numbers.
911 Operators took to Reddit to share the callers who either wasted their time, creeped them out, or made them laugh the most. The stories, edited for clarity, are the most ludicrous 911 calls you have, and probably ever will, hear.
"A quite pregnant (don't remember exactly how far along, but definitely past 30 weeks) woman called to say that her doctor told her to refrain from being intimate with her boyfriend for the rest of the pregnancy and she didn't understand why. I looked at her file and saw she was having pre-term contractions, so I explained that physical activity can cause contractions, so it was safer to abstain so the baby could stay inside as long as possible. She tearfully exclaimed, 'But how will I feed the baby?!?'
'I'm sorry, ma'am,' I said. 'Could you repeat that?'
'How will I feed the baby if I can't make love?!?' the patient asked.
The patient was convinced that her baby was living off of her boyfriend's 'deposits,' and that it would starve if they stopped making love. I explained about the umbilical cord, etc. But she refused to believe me until I asked her about single moms, lesbian moms, etc. and asked how she thought their babies fed and grew. After a moment of silence, she thanked me and started to hang up the phone, but not before I heard her screaming her boyfriend's name.
That man had a good thing going for a while there. I honestly wasn't sure if I felt more sorry for him, or a baby growing up in that household."
"I was working Thanksgiving and a call came in on the non-emergency line.
CALLER: 'Uh, Hi. I don't know who I need to speak to, but I, uh... lost a live turkey....'
ME: 'A turkey...'
CALLER: 'Uh, yeah, I got a live turkey for Thanksgiving and I guess it got out. It was in the back of my truck.'
Not much more to say about that call except that it wasn't a prank. Real dude, real address with call history. So, I passed his info to animal control and went about enjoying the holiday with the rest of the dispatch center. I got a recording of the call and passed it to animal control for laughs. Then, the next day -
CALLER: 'Hi, there is a turkey in my garage!'
ME: 'Wait... a turkey? We know about this. Let me get you connected to AC.'
I then decided to stay on the line, too.
AC: 'So, I think we know whose turkey that is. We will give you his contact info so he can come get it.'
CALLER: 'Is it that weirdo from across the street?'
AC: 'Uh, yeah, that's actually who it is...'"
"I had a guy call 911 one night. I answered with our normal question: '911 - what is the address of your emergency?' The guy was hysterical on the other end.
'I'm on Route 45,' he said, 'about two miles from the bottom.'
I got his name and asked what was wrong. He proceeded to tell me he was driving up the road and this little car behind him was following way to close to his car. Thinking he had a traffic complaint I asked, 'Did you get a good look at the other vehicle?'
The guy said, still kind of freaking out, 'No, that's not the problem. I already yelled at the girl. But, after she pulled away, I hit a deer!'
I said, 'Oh, are you OK, sir? Is your vehicle damaged at all?'
His reply was, 'No, I'm OK and my truck is OK.'
'OK, sir that's good. I can send an officer to you and he can get a report for you for insurance if you need it.'
'There's no damage to my truck.'
So, I said, 'OK, sir. Well, if you don't need police, the fire department, or an ambulance, I have to let you go now, sir.'
He shouted before I could hang up, 'Wait! I do need an officer for the deer though!'
'Is the deer dead or still alive?'
'No, the deer is still alive. It jumped off into the woods!'
'Why do you need an officer for then, sir? If the deer is no longer there and you have no damage to your truck, there's not much an officer can do.'
He then said, 'But, I need the officer's help to search the woods for this deer. After I hit the deer, it went unconscious and I couldn't tell if it was breathing so I did CPR.'
Shocked, I asked, 'Say that again??'
He said, 'I didn't do mouth to mouth ,just chest compressions. Then, it got up and ran into the woods. We have to find that deer it could be severely injured. I have to help this deer! I'm an animal person! I can't be the reason this deer is dead!!'
I had to hold back laughing as I said, 'Sir, deer die all the time. It's part of nature. An officer can't do anything. I'm sorry, sir, but that's all I can do.'
He wasn't happy and hung up on me. I had to take a 10 minute break and laugh the entire time."
"Had a woman call 911 because she saw someone driving down the road with his foot out the window. She was following him the whole time and admitted he had his seatbelt on and wasn't texting or speeding. He just had his foot out the window. She wanted the police to pull him over, to which I had to explain he wasn't breaking any laws.
She couldn't comprehend that driving with your foot out the window is not illegal and proceeded to hang up on me, then call 911 again because, apparently, I didn't know the law and she NEEDED someone to stop this man. We connected her to a deputy who told her if she didn't stop calling 911 for stupid reasons, he was going to ticket her for abuse of emergency communications."
"I have been in the 911 biz for over 22 years. If a caller starts the call with, 'I swear I'm not crazy,' then you need to buckle up for some insanity.
A guy started a call with those words after escaping from his apartment and running to the closest 7-11. He swore that his roommates were turning into giant crabs. He was going to show the officers that they were currently in giant cocoons transforming. As you might expect, he was tripping balls."
"I had an inebriated person call to report he was being harassed.
Truth was he was being arrested by our officers for throwing pizza at people. All I heard in the background was one of my officers saying to him, 'That better not be our dispatcher on the phone,' followed by some muffled talking and my officer taking the phone and saying, 'He will be taking a ride with us now,' and hanging up.
Still laugh about it to this day."
"The amount of stupid calls is astronomical. The one that comes to mind most often is that we have an extremely elderly woman in town who has a caretaker and really should be in a home, but the only numbers she remembers are 911 and the non-emergency line for the police department.
One day she called to say her caretaker wasn't at her house and she was worried. We called the caretaker. She told us she wasn't due to work until 10 a.m. and it was 9 a.m. We told the elderly lady this and she said OK.
She then immediately called back, saying her caretaker was missing. I reiterated that her caretaker was not due until 10 a.m. and it was currently 9. She said, 'Yes, but look at the time.'
I had to explain to this poor woman how time works because she wouldn't stop calling. At one point, I spoke with her 12 times in 30 minutes because she wasn't grasping the concept of having to leave a message for a callback with adult protective services. It was kind of sad, actually.
"A woman called, terrified, whispering into the phone. She said she was locked in a closet with her kids. I was thinking it was a home invasion robbery and as soon as I got her address, I slammed the call in and got ready to start updating quickly.
Why was she huddled in her closet, terrified and on the verge of tears,? Glad you asked.
This woman saw a mouse in her house and was terrified and didn't know what to do because her husband was deployed, so she wanted an officer to come out and take care of the mouse for her. An officer went out and did. Your tax dollars at work!"
"I'm a dispatcher at a local police department. Population of the town is around 8,000, so it is rather small and honestly feels even smaller. The general amount of calls we get deal with folks who we know well, whether good or bad. There are two that stick out to me off the top of my head.
Once had a woman (who is mentally ill) call and say she was put under anesthesia and assaulted. She calls and reports this at least once a day, so it was typical. But, what forced me to hold back laughter was when she claimed an unknown assailant had also broken into her home to use the sweeper - mind you only borrow, not to steal it. She then proceeded to state she knew it had been used because it smelled like dog hair and Doritos, to which she stated she does not own a dog or eat those particular chips. This woman should be a detective!
I also received a call from a mother who wanted her son, who was on probation, to be locked up for violation of said probation. The offense? Not listening to her. Now this is generally a good reason, since her son was a juvenile and being 'unruly' by not listening to a guardian is a good way for juveniles to violate their terms of probation. However, it was the he was not listening that blew my mind.
The mother stated that her son had dropped a big 'ole brown snake in the toilet and was refusing to flush it or plunge it when it began to interfere with the function of the toilet. I suppose she was tired of dealing with his crap.
Buh dum tss."
"I dispatch in a small town of 8,000 people or so. About two days prior to this call, all dispatchers at my department had received this nasty email about making sure all calls and all call information was dispatched over the radio, unless it was juvenile matters or restricted information. Everything was going fine until I got the dreaded mental case that calls fairly often.
ME: '911. Where is your emergency?'
MENTAL: [whispering] 'There is someone in my back yard, and I don't want him there. I'm on probation. The people next door are always trying to bring illicit substances over to get me in trouble. They have a Flux Capacitor and are sending electro magnetic waves through my house and I can't sleep.'
The entire time he ranted, I tried to ask questions.
ME: [finally] 'OK, sir, describe the person in the backyard.'
MENTAL: 'They look like someone descended from the Vietnam War. He was on stilts.'
ME: [trying not to laugh] 'OK, is he still there?'
MENTAL: 'I don't see him anymore.'
ME: 'OK, I'll send an officer over there.'
Darn right I gave all that over the radio."
"DISPATCHER: 'What's your emergency?'
FOUR-YEAR-OLD: 'Um, I got a cut on my finger.'
DISPATCHER: 'Is your finger bleeding?'
FOUR-YEAR-OLD: 'Yeah, a little bit.'
DISPATCHER: 'OK, sweetie, is your mom or dad there to help you clean it up and put a Band-Aid on it?'
FOUR-YEAR-OLD: 'My mom is, but she fell over and isn't talking anymore.'
He didn't call 911 because of his cut. He called because he showed his mom his paper cut and she passed out from the little pinprick of blood. She hit her head and was laying unconscious on the ground.
Mom was taken to the hospital. They gave her oxygen or something. I'm not sure, but she woke up that day and was fine - no brain damage or anything. She's really squeamish, but an awesome mom. Nick (the 4-year-old) got a super cool Elmo bandaid!
Nick's older brother Mitchell had a fire fighter visit his class at school that week. When he got home from school that day, Mitchell called 911 'to see if it was true.' The fire fighters came to the house and explained to Mitchell and Nick when to call and when not to call. I guess little Nick was listening. He got the paper cut a few days after the fire fighters came."
"I'm an ER nurse. We have a phone that connects to the ambulance dispatch and airs 'high alert' 911 calls in our department so we can prepare. On April 1, a son called 911 for his mother. He lived out of town and his father had called him earlier explaining that his mom had collapsed at home after having a bout of severe chest pain, and was not responsive.
When paramedics arrived at the parents' house, both parents were completely fine and explained they attempted to fake a near death experience for April Fool's Day. They said they didn't expect their son to actually worry enough to call for help."
"There was a man in the town I worked for who owned some land right by his house. He sold it to developers for a fat check and they proceeded to build a house on it. The town has an ordnance requiring construction work to finish at 5 pm and the workers always complied. At around 5, they would be ending their days. This dude would call every day at like 5:03 pm to complain about the noise ordnance and say that he wanted the cops to go over to 'investigate' them.
It was the sound of them packing up their tools.
He was also adamant about not being identified, even though everyone in the department knew who he was. We used to mess around with him after he would tell us that we didn't need to know his name by saying, 'OK, Mr. __,' and he would start screaming about how that wasn't him."
"We had the state police helicopter flying over our town and a few others looking for a guy fleeing the police on foot in a wooded area. This guy (different person) called in and demanded to know what the helicopter was doing. I told him that I could not share what they were doing and that it was police business. He grumbled and said fine, but told me that he wanted me to contact them to notify them that they did not have his permission to fly over his house.
I said, 'OK, sir. Can I have your name, phone number, and address?'
The dude said, 'My name is Mike and that's all you need to know.'
Like I'm legitimately going to radio a state police helicopter unit (never would anyway) and tell them that they don't have permission to fly over 'Mike's house.'"
"A person called the 911 line. I picked up thinking it was an emergency. The guy proceeded to tell me how there was a turtle in the road. I asked if he could drive around it and tell me where it was. He said, 'No, it's on the side of the road. No one is going to hit it.'
I was thinking, Then why the heck did you call 911, you idiot?
So I asked where it was, and he gave me the location on a road in our town. I asked if he could see it. He said, 'No, he's gone now.'
I said, 'What do you mean he's gone?'
'Well, this was around two or three hours ago. He's probably off in the woods now.'
Great. Thanks. Now you've wasted my time completely.
So I asked why he was calling and what he expected us to do now that it was in the woods. He proceeded to tell me that we should send over a 'few' units and have them search the woods for it. I was pretty confused at that point, so I asked him why he wanted us to search for this turtle and why it was so important.
'Well, it didn't look right,' he said.
'What do you mean it didn't look right?'
'It just... It didn't look right.'
He literally couldn't elaborate why he called 911 over a freakin turtle."
"I am an ex-911 operator. I worked in the midwest. I have had a lot of your garden variety daily dumb calls, but this was next level stupid. The story went a little something like this:
ME: '911, what is the location of your emergency?'
CALLER: 'Uhh… [address]. sigh… So… I’m not really sure if this is an emergency. Ugh… This is so embarrassing, I’m sorry. I uh… I answered an ad on Craigslist for some… services, you know, with a woman...'
And somehow this ends in you dialing 911 at 1 am?
CALLER: '… and I answered the ad that said… "Send me what you got," so I sent her - sigh - you know, some pictures. I got a reply that... Oh my god… That said I had sent these photos to his daughter who was 16. I didn’t know! I really didn’t know. I think maybe someone put her number there as a joke, you know?'
ME: 'Right, OK. So, you want to speak with an officer? What’s your name?'
CALLER: 'Well I don’t… I don’t wanna say my name and get in trouble or anything. I’m just worried that this needs to be brought to someone’s attention and get it out there, you know?'
You're on a recorded line with all of your information on our computer, homie, but proceed.
I transferred the call to the on duty sergeant, hoping he would open up to another dude. He did, and then the truth erupted into a twisted tale of a love trapezoid straight out of an M. Night Shyamalan diary. It turned out that the caller wasn’t a child predator at all. He was just a kid on the prowl for some very legal kitty. A particular ad from a woman in a city claiming to be 25 years old piqued - among other things - his interest, and he dutifully complied to the demand for explicit photos.
A brief time later, he was textually accosted by a reasonably enraged man claiming to be the father of the alleged juvenile. Homeboy apologized profusely and attempted to explain the situation by sending 'Daddy' a link to the ad in question, presumably followed by the ordering of P90X and gathering of bail money.
It is at this point that the story takes a nosedive: 'Daddy,' well… isn’t. Daddy’s true identity was 'Hubby.' His innocent little girl’s phone was actually the phone of his wife. I believe it. Most 16-year-olds have not been physically dissatisfied long enough to turn to a Craigslist ad for 'Women For Multiple Men.'"
"My favorite story to tell.
I worked in a hospital dispatch center for a few years. All of the 911 calls made from hospital phones were routed through us to see if it could be handled internally or externally.
One morning, I had just gotten to work and was dead tired. 911 call. I answered and this woman was calling to report a missing person, her boyfriend. I could instantly tell this woman was about as bright as a solar powered light on Pluto. But, we had to take every call seriously. She told me that her homeless and suicidal boyfriend just walked out of the hospital 20 minutes earlier and she was afraid he was going to finally make due on his suicide threats.
I got a description of the man and transferred the call to police dispatch. Of course, I stayed on the line because it was starting to get good. She told the 911 operator about her boyfriend. When asked if she knew how he was going to attempt suicide, she proceeded to guess.
'I'm thinking he will probably run into traffic, or rent a hotel room and drown himself in the tub because he has 28 dollars on him,' she said. Then the operator asked if he had said anything about killing himself in the last week. She said no. It had all been going well for them, even though they were homeless and she was pregnant with another man's kid, but he wanted to be the father. Then, after a moment of silence she blurted out the best random statement I've ever heard.
'We are juggalos too,' she said. 'Well, I'm a juggalette and he's a juggalo.'
I had the call on speaker at this point, but the mic was muted. The entire dispatch center was getting weak. I still have the recording to this day. I wish I could express just how entertaining this call was through text, but it just isn't possible.
She ended up calling the 911 line 5 times over the next several hours to 'check for updates.' We finally had to tell her to knock it off. Her boyfriend ended up being perfectly fine. He took the bus to his mom's house to take a shower and swore he told her exactly where he was going before he left. Couple of looney toons."