How non-emergency calls can block the phone lines and mean life or death for people in real emergencies.
911 dispatchers are trained to take every single call seriously, and they do whatever it takes to get people the help they need.
Naturally, this leaves them vulnerable to two different types of callers:
- People who are genuinely unaware of how their non-emergency calls clog the phone lines and affect other people’s chances of getting help, and…
- Prank callers.
And as you’ll see below, some of these calls are so unbelievable it’s hard to tell whether they’re pranks or not.
Keep reading as we go through 8 ridiculous 911 calls that will leave you speechless.
1. 911 Sports Updates?
You’d think with all the technology we have at our disposal, there would be plenty of ways to find all the sports stats you could ever need.
But one man was having so much trouble that he decided to call emergency services. Believe it or not, he dialed 911 to find out the results of a basketball game that took place the previous weekend.
The dispatcher, obviously frustrated, asked, “Okay, you’re calling 911 for this?”
The caller responded by saying he was out of options, as he’d already tried calling several other numbers.
2. Public Safety…and Pizza?
It’s a common problem that many people don’t understand that the 911 service is for serious or life-threatening emergencies only.
Dispatchers field thousands of calls every day from people that treat 911 like their personal information hotline.
One caller dialed 911 in hopes of being connected to Dominos pizza.
The operator, to her credit, very firmly but calmly let the caller know that ordering pizza isn’t the purpose of the public emergency system.
3. Serious Cravings
As if he knew that he wasn’t supposed to be calling 911, one man immediately let the dispatcher know that he wasn’t in any danger.
He then explained that he tried to order some tacos from a local Taco Bell, but they wouldn’t serve him.
Desperate to satisfy his taco cravings, he decided to call emergency services to express his frustration and try to find a solution.
It’s safe to say that he probably didn’t get what he wanted from the call.
4. Do You Have the Time?
A woman once called 911 to ask, “What number do I call to get the time?”
It’s hard to think of this call as anything but a prank, but we’ll let you decide.
5. “I Said No Pickles!”
One caller thought it was appropriate to dial 911 because the “western burger” she ordered didn’t come out right.
Refusing to leave the store until she got her way, the woman asked the dispatcher to send a police officer to her location to make sure her second burger was made correctly.
Understandably, the dispatcher sternly told her that they weren’t going to spend police resources on a fast-food customer service issue.
6. When Life Denies You Lemons
A man from Boynton Beach, Florida, called 911 shortly after visiting a local Burger King.
When he asked for a lemonade, the employee told him that they were currently out of stock.
So, he decided to call the police to report the “emergency.”
These calls are so outlandish that they can be hard not to laugh at, but they’re an inherent problem of the public dispatch system, and operators deal with them every day.
7. A Not So Happy Meal
A similar situation happened at a Mcdonald’s in Fort Pierce, Florida. A woman called emergency services because when she tried to order chicken nuggets, the cashier said they were fresh out.
She went on to recount her entire exchange with the McDonald’s manager on the call, taking up over a minute of the dispatcher’s precious time.
Having such a high-pressure job, you can imagine the frustration a 911 operator feels knowing that they could be assisting someone in a genuine emergency situation.
8. Arnold, is That You?
The other calls may have been unclear as to whether they were pranks, but there’s no question about the final item on this list.
Last but certainly not least, we have a caller that went so far as to use a soundboard with audio clips from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s movies. They impersonated the famous actor on a few different 911 calls, confusing dispatchers and wasting valuable time.
Since operators have to make sure the caller isn’t in any immediate danger, the Arnold imposter held up three different dispatchers for several minutes as they tried to determine if he was safe.
Time that could’ve been spent helping people with real emergencies.
Avoid Call Waiting Queues With Rescu
If you want to ensure you never get stuck behind absurd calls like these, Rescu can help.
The Rescu app has a private dispatch system dedicated solely to subscribers and doesn’t require you to say a word, eliminating the risk of getting stuck in a waiting queue.
Just pull up the app on your smartphone, select the services you need – fire, police, or medical – and send the alert.
Rescu will dispatch emergency responders to your pre-registered address, inform them of any medical conditions you have, and notify your emergency contacts immediately.
Learn more and download the Rescu app today.
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