911: Tales from Dispatch

21 Mar

If the callers decorated cakes, they might look like this.

One of my dear friends works as a 911 dispatcher in a major US city. I never want to be the Little Boy Who Cried Wolf, so I tend not to call 911 – even when it’s probably warranted.

(To wit: after going over the top of that Prius last month, the witnesses had to convince me to call 911, and when I finally did, I asked the dispatcher to send a police officer but not an ambulance.)

Apparently other Americans don’t have this qualm, because I get a text or email from my friend about once a week highlighting the latest bullshit she’s been subjected to. For your amusement, here are a few of her anecdotes.


Please let this woman edit the dictionary:

Wow. I asked a caller for her telephone number and she says – like I’m the stupid one, “Telephone number?! I don’t have a telephone number. I have a cellophone number.” I tried to explain (don’t ask me why I bothered) that her telephone number was indeed her cell phone when she once again insisted she didn’t have a telephone number and I gave up.

Nice. A Cellephone number. Do you think she covers her left-overs with Telephane?

Stop wiggling your tail at me:

Just had a report of a car driving erotically.

I’m still not clear on why 9-1-1 was called for this:

Oh my. This young man was saying he was at his friend’s crib and his baby mam came over and there’s a no trash passing sign in the front. I asked him if he thought it was funny to call his child’s mother trash. He said his apartment entrance had a no trash passing zone posted. He sounded young, so I pictured one of those fake parking signs you can buy in a gag store. Turns out it was actually a no trespassing sign. He just couldn’t read it.

Get your mind out of the gutter:

Early during the job, she received a call from a woman reporting a man who was asleep on a bench.

“His pants are kind of pulled down. And all his junk is all over,” she said.

My friend replied, “So he is exposing himself?”

The woman paused for a fairly long time, then responded, “No. His STUFF is scattered all around him. What do you mean, is he exposing himself?”

A big THANK YOU to the 9-1-1 workers out there. Thanks for tolerating our general stupidity.

One Response to “911: Tales from Dispatch”

  1. Alicia March 24, 2011 at 8:41 am #

    Oh. That last one is killing me. His junk is all over. Giggle.

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