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911 Dispatchers Share The Calls They’ll Never Forget

911 Dispatchers Share The Calls They’ll Never Forget

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Working as a 911 dispatcher is quite the role to uphold. As callers explain a crisis that may be dangerous or even life threatening, dispatcher must keep calm and try to console the caller, while simultaneously maintaining a level of urgency.

Photo: Flickr/Tyler Silvest

A dispatcher can definitely get into a routine with incoming calls, knowing exactly how to respond to various types of situations. However, there are bound to be some calls that really stand out. Whether it’s hilarious situations people got themselves into, or absolutely heartbreaking news, some calls are sure to stick. Here are some of the 911 calls that dispatchers have been unable to forget…

Stuck In A Fence

This is from a 112 operator, which is the equivalent to 911 in the United States. My aunt, the operator, said that she needed to calm down a guy who got his man parts stuck in a fence. She quickly learned that the guy was getting it on with his neighbor’s wife, but the neighbor unexpectedly arrived home early…

Photo: Creative Commons/kaymac

He grabbed his clothes and tried to get back home through the broken fence, but in his rushed state, he fell over, and got stuck between two metal bars. He begged to send “silent” help as the neighbor’s wife was in the process of distracting her husband, so he wouldn’t notice that he was stuck. Reddit User: LorenzoTheChair

You Can’t Leave Me

I got a call about a 72-year-old female who collapsed in front of her husband and wasn’t breathing. When I answered the phone, he said, “What do I do first? She’s not breathing, and I’m by myself.” I told him to run and get the door unlocked, and then we can start chest compressions. Halfway through the compressions, his back started hurting.

Photo: Creative Commons/leppre

I told him that I didn’t want him to hurt himself, and he told me, “I can’t stop, I love her. We just celebrated 50 years together.” He then says to her, “You can’t leave me. You’re all I have. You can’t die. I love you,” and that’s when I lost it. I’ve never cried on the phone until that day. To my delight, they got her back. They visited one day and made me cry all over again. Reddit User: trikkiNikki

Motorcycle In The Eye

One day, I got a call about a Harley motorcycle that tipped over, and the clutch lever somehow managed to go into a toddler’s eye. Her parents were on the line asking what to do. Suddenly, the mom said, “They’re going to lift the motorcycle.” I emphatically told her to tell them to stop and wait for the EMT.

Photo: Creative Commons/CATucker

The rescuers ended up cutting off the clutch lever and transporting the child to the hospital where she underwent surgery. That was back in 1982. Just last year, more than 30 years after the accident, I met the lead rescue officer and the girl, who is now a woman. They wanted to meet the 911 operator who saved her vision. Reddit User: markko79

Negative Pregnancy

I’ve been working as a dispatcher for quite some time, and I’ve had my fair share of stories–some good, some bad, and some really weird ones. This is a weird one. It was about the time when I talked a woman through giving birth to an imaginary baby when she wasn’t even pregnant. She was convinced that she was having a baby, though she never showed any symptoms that she was.

Photo: Creative Commons/tribes of the city

I was having way too much fun with the case when the medics advised, “negative birth, negative pregnancy, on the scene with a skinny female patient with severe abdominal pain.” I didn’t laugh about it to her face, but you’d think that people know their bodies by now. Reddit user: [Redacted]

Get My Dog First

My friend is a fireman, and the dispatch had just alerted his team of a man who was having chest pains. They get to the guy’s house, and as they open the door, the man’s dog runs outside, and he shouts, “You let my dog out! Go get my dog! Please!” So, my friend immediately starts chasing the dog. He catches the dog, comes back to the house, and when he walks in the door, he sees that the man having “chest pains” had a hole in his chest.

Photo: creativecommons.org/hsdgraficos

He’d accidentally shot himself while cleaning his piece. The old man had a hole in his chest, and told 911 he had “chest pains.” When help arrives, he makes them go chase his dog down before tending to his own life-threatening wound. It was the biggest “what the heck” moment of my buddy’s career. Reddit User: Ser-Jorah-Mormont

Flying Umbrella

I’m not an operator, but I worked as a lifeguard on the beach in North Carolina for a while, and we had a radio which was used to dispatch both us and EMTs if somebody on the beach called 911, so we got to hear some crazy things. My coworker and I were hunkered down under a jetty on our quad bikes for shelter when we heard a dispatch for EMTs being called out.

Photo: Creative Commons/ltenney1225

A few districts down from where we were, a heavy wooden umbrella had been picked up by a sudden strong gust of wind and dropped onto an 84-year-old woman’s face, pointy end first. My coworker and I simply looked at each other and started screaming. Last we heard about her case was that she was in the care of the EMTs. Reddit User: kasimirthered

Lost Partner

The case that stands out comes from my days as a rookie. I was on my own for maybe two months at the most when I got this call. It was around eight o’clock pm when the 911 line rang, and my phone automatically picked it up…

Photo: Creative Commons/Ben P L

The caller was a stuttering male who couldn’t make out any words. I automatically re-bid his cell phone and saw he was on the college campus. After about a minute or so, I found out that this caller was a security guard for the college. I got him to put together his location, so I sent police, with the issue as “unknown problem” and continued the call.

A little further into the call, the caller finally started to open up about the situation but could only tell me he found a man who “was down.” I then decided to put EMS on standby. It turned out that the security guard had an older partner, who was doing his second job after retirement.

They split up and went to check on some of the outlying buildings before sunset. But after an hour, the guard never returned and wasn’t answering the radio. This caller went looking for him and found him behind the cafeteria building. I learned that not only was the guard missing his keys, but also a body part. The caller quit his job shortly after. Nobody was ever caught for the crime. Reddit User: Killerb54

Elephant

I got a call from an older woman who seemed extremely confused and said that there was an elephant in her back garden. I questioned her, but she insists that there was a fully-grown elephant in her garden, and that she was frightened. The assumption was that she had dementia because it would be impossible to find an elephant in a garden in the middle of England.

Photo: creativecommons.org/martie1swart

I got an officer to do a welfare check on the poor woman. To our surprise, the officer called for backup, because he got to her house and looked out into the garden and there really was elephant, and it was eating her plants. It turned out that there was a circus relatively nearby, and the elephant had escaped sometime during the night. Reddit User: irsa-mcjor

Stroking Out

An older lady probably in her early 70s called in with polite urgency in her voice and told me she thought she’s having a stroke. She then told me she had her grandchild at the house with her and asks me to call her daughter to come get her child. By the time she was done giving me the phone number, there was just a very slight slur in her speech.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Jennifer Cepek

By the time EMS got to her house, which took no more than five minutes, I could not understand a thing she was saying. It was fascinating, disturbing, and profoundly sad all at the same time to hear someone progress through a stroke as they’re talking to you. It was a story I will never forget. Reddit user: [Redacted]

Blood-Curdling Screams

I once answered the line to the sounds of a couple of women screaming and wailing. Anyone that has done the job long enough knows the type of scream I’m referring to. It’s the blood-curdling scream of a person who is in genuine anguish. I knew that something was up and got police and ambulance on the way almost immediately.

Phone: Flickr/Jason Lander

I was trying to get some details from one of the women on the line, and a boy of no more than five years old comes on the phone and says, “My daddy is swinging from the roof.” I later found out that he had taken his life while his family was out doing their weekly shopping. They came home to find the biggest shock of their lives. Reddit User: pennykie

Harassing Police

Before I became a cop, I was a dispatcher at a big department. This story is short, but I thought it was hilarious. A guy calls in at about one o’clock am, and as soon as I answer, he yells, “The police are harassing me out here!” After yelling this in my ear, he goes radio-silent. So I ask him, “Okay, well what exactly are you wanting? Would you like to speak with a supervisor?”

Photo: creativecommons.org/Thayne Tuason

He once again yells, “The police are harassing me!” So this time I ask him, “Okay sir, you called the police department. What do you want me to do? Send more police?” A long pause as he thinks this over. He responded by saying, “Nah, I’m good man, forget the police,” and hangs up. Also, as a side note, none of our officers were even close to where he called in. Reddit User: NotaCop21

WD40 Fire

I was working a fire dispatch position when a police dispatcher passed me a call. When he announced the call, I couldn’t quite hear what he said due to all the yelling in the background. The caller was yelling at someone, and another person was holding a woman down. I thought to myself, “This sounds like a police matter. Why am I getting this call?” I heard something about fire, so I asked, “I’m sorry, what is on fire?” A person was on fire.

Photo: Creative Commons/Cal OES

The caller then proceeded to tell me that someone was burned and barely breathing. The woman didn’t want her family to find out a big secret, so she drove to what she believed to be a deserted street, and intentionally lit a fire with WD40. A resident in the area heard the screams and called 911. She’s still in jail to this day. Reddit User: syzygylym

Self-Surgery

I’m not exactly a 911 operator. I was a switchboard operator at a major hospital for several years. One night at approximately 10 pm, we got a call from someone who wanted to speak to the surgeon on-call. We have doctors from every specialty on-call for existing patients, but this guy told us very calmly that he wasn’t a patient.

Photo: Creative Commons/SIM USA

The man on the line just needed advice about a surgery that he was currently performing on himself. Yes, you read correctly. He was giving himself an appendectomy in his apartment and wanted to talk to the doctor about it. It was absolutely insane. We ended up getting him an ambulance, but I don’t know what came of it. Reddit user: [Redacted]

The Screams I’d Never Forget

I was on my second full-time shift at around 11 pm and we got a call from a screaming woman. That’s all we heard for the first few seconds of the call. We lost the connection, then a second 911 call came in, and it’s the neighbor across the street. She said, “I think I just heard a loud pop, and now our neighbor is screaming, yelling for help. I think something terrible happened.”

Photo: Creative Commons/moccasinlanding

My partner was getting more information from the second caller, when the phone rings again, and it’s the original caller. She was still screaming but was trying to speak. I couldn’t understand anything she was saying. After saying, “Ma’am, I need you to calm down and tell me what is going on,” she was finally able to tell me that she thought her husband just hurt himself.

She explained that they were watching television together and everything seemed normal, when he got up and said that he would be right back. She heard the back deck door open and close and then she heard a loud pop. They had been married for 27 years, and had two kids and three grandkids. She had no indication that anything was wrong. I don’t remember her name, but I will never be able to forget her screams. Reddit User: abekon

Forgot She Called

I worked for a dispatch company very similar to life alert. I got a call from an older lady who must have been in her 90s. She thought that someone was intruding on her property, so she decided to call the station. She had severe dementia and forgot she had called the police, so when they rang her door, she thought they were the intruders.

Photo: creativecommons.org/♔ Georgie R

She hit her wrist button to get in contact with us, but then she went to get her gun. I then called the police, while also talking to her. On the recording, you could hear her taking aim at the police officers on the scene. They freaked out, and I frantically got my supervisor, who tried to talk her down.

The police and I eventually got her to calm down and stop, but apparently she had missed a police officer by just six inches. Her family had to get involved, and she ended up moving to a nursing home shortly after. It was both sad and terrifying to listen to the entire thing on the phone. Reddit User: SpecificInitials

Gasping For Air

I’m sure that there are crazier stories, but mine is pretty bad. It was the first time I took a call where someone had taken too much of an illegal substance. It was a crazy experience hearing someone losing their life on the other side of the phone. It could be described as a sort of gurgling, screaming, and gasping for air.

Photo: Creative Commons/U.S. Department of the Interior

Fortunately, the friend of the person that was struggling was the one who called, so I actually got some information to pass along to my officers. Unfortunately, the caller was not in the right mental state and decided to lie about what his friend was on, which slightly delayed the remedy being administered. Luckily, in the end, the person lived. Reddit User: Patrickrk

Tiger

My favorite moment was when a guy called and said, “There are tiger cubs in my back yard.” What he really had in his back yard was a bobcat mother and her kittens. You see, bobcat kittens have stripes, so he inferred they were tigers. He also could not figure out how they had gotten onto his yard because he had a six-foot privacy fence.

Photo: Creative Commons/DreamSailors

The follow-up call was his neighbor calling in to say, “There’s a bobcat in my yard chasing rabbits!” Bobcats and coyotes do live in cities, but animal control won’t come out for them if they are outside in their natural habitat doing natural things. People don’t realize or understand this and call in all the time when they see them. Reddit User: ccubb15

Mother’s Day Tragedy

After a while, the calls all blend together, but I do have one call that I remember from time to time. A wife called in because she found a note in the kitchen saying, “call 911, don’t come to the garage.” I later learned that her husband was chronically ill and decided to free them of “his burden” on Mother’s Day.

Photo: Creative Commons/Salim Virji

He took his life while his wife and daughter were out having a Mother’s Day lunch. The hardest part for me, as the operator, was pleading with the teenage daughter to stay outside and wait for the first responders. They waited until the responders arrived on the scene, and it was extremely difficult trying to stop them. I often wonder if they’re doing okay. Reddit user: [Redacted]

Brother-Sister Battles

I hadn’t been working as a dispatcher long when this happened. One evening, a man called in claiming that his sister stole his stash of a certain illegal substance. His sister, the alleged thief, also called 911, and a fellow operator who was sitting next to me received the call, They proceeded to argue back and forth using us, the two operators, as a proxy.

Photo: Creative Commons/scarysideofearth

It was hilarious because they both wanted the police to come and arrest the other one for having the substance, which each of them claimed to be the other person’s. We weren’t getting anywhere on the phone, so we had to dispatch the police, and we had no issues doing so. I never knew what became of the siblings. Reddit user: [Redacted]

Being Able To Relate

For me, the worst ones were always the calls you could relate to on a personal level, and there were far too many for my liking. I took a call last month from a father who discovered his son was not moving. He was sitting right next to him. I’ve taken a ton of these calls, but this one was particularly difficult for me.

Photo: Creative Commons/photoloni

The man’s son was my age, and the way the father pleaded with his son was almost exactly the same way I’ve imagined my father if I were to ever do the same. I can hear him saying “Come on, buddy! Don’t do this to me!” in my head at least two to three times a day since that call. Reddit User: NearlyFearless

Over 11 Years Ago

I have been doing this for over a decade, and I’ ve taken some absolutely crazy calls. But there’s one that stays with me. I took a 911 call from a woman who asked me for an ambulance. There was no emotion in her voice. She could have been calling the bank with that voice. I got and confirmed her address, then I asked her what was going on. In that same lifeless voice, she said, “My son is no longer with us.”

Photo: Flickr/Jeremy Noble

I asked her if she was sure, then I asked her to start CPR, which she flatly refused. I asked her to at least try CPR, and she said, “He is cold, and it’s my fault. My fault. My fault.” Her tone never changed. It turns out that she caught him engaging in some disturbing behavior, and because he threw up in front of her, she sent him to bed without taking him to the doctor.

Sometime during the night, he passed. I will never forget that dead tone she had. Her ignorance did contribute to his passing, but she is not even partially to blame. I tried to tell her that, but that woman will never forgive herself. I feel for her to this day, and that was over 11 years ago. Reddit User: BoosherCacow

Train Tracks

One of the stories that I’ll never forget was about a guy who, while riding his bike, saw a father running after his grown-up son. He was yelling, “Stop him! He wants to hurt himself! He wants to go to the train station!” The guy decided to call 911 while riding after the two men. At that point, they were already near the train tracks.

Photo: Creative Commons/akahodag

I quickly sent their location to the dispatch and stayed on the phone. The guy asked if he could tackle the son if he had the chance, so I told him he could do what he thought could stop the boy, but should always think of his own safety. Then he started yelling that the train was there, and I could hear it in the background.

As soon as he started cursing and screaming, I knew that it was too late. It was horrible for all parties involved. To make matters worse, the dad immediately started blaming himself for not being able to stop it. After all that, I needed to take a break outside. I continued work that day with less empathy for the people calling to complain about their neighbors. Reddit User: SMellyLeopard

The Neighborhood Watch

My mother’s a retired dispatcher who still fills in to help every once in a while, and this is her favorite story. She gets a call one night from a local guy who considered himself the lone neighborhood watch. We’d seen him a lot because he often patrolled an area near our house. He was one of those retired, righteous, do-gooder types that ironically caused some 911 calls because he walks around the neighborhood all night.

Photo: Creative Commons/MattHurst

He would call in a lot to report suspicious behavior–real menacing stuff like kids on bikes after dark, or a car driving down a cul-de-sac only to turn around and drive out of it. One night he calls around two am, and he’s completely hysterical. A group of kids had assaulted him. I started to take the information when he revealed that he was not really hurt.

He was on his nightly patrol when a group of kids in a car drove by and assaulted him. Turns out this big assault involved them throwing half of a banana at him. I kept myself from laughing, and told him I’d write up a report on the incident. Reddit User: GeeksintheStreets

Compassion In His Last Moments

A 23-year-old man called and told me he was going to hurt himself. He was the first call on my shift that day, and it was very early in the morning. He even told me how he planned to do it. He was upset and crying, but he apologized to me. He said he was sorry I picked up the phone, and he was sorry for how this was going to affect me.

Photo: Public Domain Pictures

He hung up on me, and when I called back to speak to him, I could hear liquid splashing in the background. He ended up hanging up again, and I never got him back. He did exactly what he said he would do, long before anyone could get to him. I’ll never forget his name or voice, and I simply hope I showed him kindness and compassion in his last moments. Reddit User: hellosweetie348

No Emotions

I previously worked as an ambulance operator here in Australia. It was about eight am on Christmas Day when I took a call from a man reporting that he had woken up to find his wife passed away in bed next to him. I worked through the protocol to gather information and offered instructions to provide CPR, but he refused as it was obviously too late.

Photo: Creative Commons/A.J. Campbell

The woman was in her mid 30’s, so I assumed that the man was of a similar age. Throughout the entire call, the man showed no emotions that someone whose wife had just passed would, not to mention on Christmas Day. It was very cold, the way he spoke and answered questions. He closed with, “I guess I’d better call her parents and tell them and the kids that I won’t be at Christmas Lunch.” Reddit User: cpierrer

Struggling To Reply

I’ve left the job now for greener pastures, but I still remember this case. A woman of 90 years old calls up and says she’s having a spot of trouble. She’s struggling to work the phone and tells me she has a leg ulcer that has popped, and she doesn’t think she’s going to make it because she’s on blood thinners.

Photo: creativecommons.org/tinken

I get an ambulance out immediately to her, but midway through the call, she goes silent, and I hear a thud on the floor. After this, I try my best to basically shout through the phone to get her attention. All I can hear is very heavy breathing but no reply. This continues for a couple of minutes before I hear banging on the other end of the line, and a voice faintly shouting the lady’s name.

I hear the window break and a couple of voices approaching. They reach her and I hear her very faint voice respond. Normally we don’t find out what happens, but in this case, I actually received a letter and chocolates from her. She said that she could hear me the whole time and felt reassured that help was coming, but she didn’t have the strength to reply. Reddit User: TheSafetyFirstGuy

Some Strange Hallucinations

I’ve heard several things in my career, but this is by far the strangest thing that I’ve heard. A woman was complaining of spiders in her nether region. Back when I was in college, I worked as an EMT in a major city and that was when we got the call. I’ll never forget pulling up to this major intersection where, sure enough, there she was.

Photo: Creative Commons/sarah 30 is still around, just workin

This old lady was lying on the sidewalk with her pants off, trying her best to relieve herself of the spiders. It turns out that she was in her 70s, and she often experienced severe hallucinations. What was a very strange call was an old lady who had been having some wild hallucinations. Reddit User: sweedo1996

Using His First Words

I’ve had several child callers, but none of them have stuck with me quite like this kid. The boy must have been around seven to ten years old. When he called, he stayed quiet for several seconds. In a very quiet voice, he said, “You’re a witch,” and then he hung up. I tried not to be taken aback but it was quite strange.

Photo: Pxhere

It was so funny the way he said it. It was like he had just learned the word and was testing it out to see how it sounded. The call was over in less than five seconds, so we didn’t get a GPS ping. Plus, he didn’t really sound like he was in distress, so we didn’t send out any response. Reddit User: Razvee

On The Side Of A Cliff

I once got a call from a lady who had been hiking along the side of a cliff when the path she was walking up had collapsed both in front of her and behind her. She fell and was now stranded on the side of a cliff. She wasn’t badly hurt, but she was stuck in a place where the tide was coming in.

Photo: Creative Commons/Graham Robson

The call was intense because I had to stay on the line for almost an hour and a half, trying to keep her mind off the pain, and trying to help the emergency service locate her since she was pretty far from any roads. In the end, the police found her and helped her get to safety. Reddit User: Werebee

Being Certified

I took a call from a man whose one-year-old daughter fell in the pool while being left unattended. At the time of the call, she was unresponsive, not breathing, and she had no pulse. My partner dispatched out fire and EMS while I was on the phone. I got the child’s mother to start CPR, and fortunately, she was certified and didn’t require very much instruction at all.

Photo: Creative Commons/csm242000 Photography

Before the first responders arrived, the baby started breathing again. I believe she sustained some brain injury but nothing life-threatening. I had to go take a walk around the block after that one. Please, if you aren’t CPR certified, get certified. It very well may  have been the difference between that child living and dying. Reddit user: BC_th_TC

An Exorcism to Remember

I’m not an operator, but an ambulance officer, and we’ve gotten quite a few bizarre calls, but this one is by far the worst. We got called at 11 at night about an assault, and that was all the information we got. We were just informed that there was a young woman screaming and in need of help. So, off we went.

Photo: creativecommons.org/Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious

When we arrived, there were about five police cars already there. In the middle of the road was a sergeant with an eerily large grin on his face. He said, “Turns out it wasn’t an assault, but have you ever been a witness to an exorcism before?” And that’s how I attended my first and last exorcism. Reddit: Majestic-Grim

Admitting It

My sister is a dispatcher, and she’s come home with some really disturbing tales. One time, she received a call from a man who said he just seriously hurt his sister and brother, and he wasn’t sure if they would make it. She kept him on the phone for five or six minutes to make sure he didn’t run before officers arrived.

Photo: creativecommons.org/bluelotus92

She somehow got him to admit they had all been drinking and playing cards, when he got into an argument after one of them accused him of cheating. The game ended, and his siblings went to bed, but he stayed up stewing and just couldn’t let it go. He attacked both of them in their beds while they slept, then called 911. Reddit User: sweet_low_rain

Looted Clean

Oddly enough, the one phone call that I could never forget wasn’t a horrifying or urgent one, it was an old man calmly telling me his house had been broken into. With the saddest voice I’ve ever heard, he said, “I’ve worked my entire life to buy these things, now it’s all gone. I’ve lost everything.” He started crying on the phone, and my heart broke.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Etan J. Tal

This man was quite poor and worked very hard to buy furniture and appliances throughout the years. He was now retired and couldn’t afford to buy them anymore. Most Brazilians in the area where I worked don’t have home insurance, so if your things are stolen, you don’t ever see that money again. I found out that the old man’s house had been looted clean of everything. Reddit User: bananaboops

Trying To Wake Mommy Up

When I worked on the 911 side of things, I was just about a week into it when I got a call from one of our rural towns. It was a ten-year-old boy telling me that his mother was in the front seat of her truck and that she wasn’t breathing, and wouldn’t wake up no matter how much he tried to rouse her.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/CGP Grey

I had to walk him through dragging his mom out of the seat and onto the ground so he could start CPR. Because of where he was located, it took about 15 minutes for the first EMT to get there. We found out later that she was gone approximately 12 hours before the call due to illegal substance use. The poor kid. Reddit User: PalharesToeHold

The Cleverness Of A Woman

My most memorable call as a dispatcher was the time a woman called 911 but pretended to call a pizza delivery hotline because her abusive boyfriend might find out. The operator thought it was a prank when she said she wanted to order pizza, but luckily, I figured out what was really happening and asked her, “And you can’t talk about it because there’s someone in the room with you?”

Photo: Wikipedia

Here’s the conversation below. Operator: “911, what is your emergency?” Woman: “123 Main St.” Operator: “Okay, what’s going on there?” Woman: “I’d like to order a pizza for delivery.” Operator: “Ma’am, you’ve reached 911” Woman: “Yeah, I know. Can I have a large with half pepperoni, half mushroom, and peppers?” Operator: “Ummm…. I’m sorry, you know you’ve called 911, right?” Woman: “Yeah, do you know how long it will be?”

Operator: “Okay, Ma’am, is everything okay over there? Do you have an emergency?” Woman: “Yes, I do.” Operator: “And you can’t talk about it because there’s someone in the room with you?” Woman: “Yes, that’s correct. Do you know how long it will be?” Operator: “I have an officer about a mile from your location. Are there any weapons in your house?” Woman: “Nope.” Operator: “Can you stay on the phone with me?” Woman: “Nope. See you soon. Thanks.” I just admire the cleverness of the woman. Reddit user: [Redacted]

A Joyride Gone Wrong

I was a dispatcher, and one day I got a call from a woman saying one of the neighborhood kids (12 years old) had shown up at their door beat up pretty bad and barely able to talk. It was the middle of the night, and the houses were between a mile to two miles apart. I sent EMS and the police…

Photo: Creative Commons/bikesandwich

They made it down the road and saw tire tracks swerving off through a fence. The police followed the tracks to find the car ramped up the side of a dried-up cattle pond. It impacted the far side of the pond at about 90mph. There were four kids, and two were gone instantly. One made the walk, and the other was conscious enough to undo her seatbelt and curl up on the floor.

Unfortunately, she passed sometime during the night. I later learned that this was all because one of their moms who was hosting a sleepover had a few too many and thought it would be great to give the kids the keys for a joyride. All the children were under 13, and it took me a while to go back to my office. I was a lot to wrap my head around. Reddit user: [Redacted]

My Very First Call

The story that I’ll never forget is the very first 911 call I ever took as a dispatcher on my own. It happened right at the beginning of the shift. I got a call from a woman who was screaming and crying hysterically. I was thankful that she called from a landline or I doubt I’d have gotten an address out of her.

Photo: Creative Commons/tachyondecay

It turns out she’d woken up that morning and saw the light was on in the garage. It was unusual because her husband always turned them off when he left for work, so she went to investigate. When she got to the garage, she found him lying there with a self-inflicted wound to the chest. I tried to get her to control the bleeding since she said he was still breathing, but the whole time she was just screaming and begging him not to leave her and the kids. Reddit User: bigred49342

Finding The Address

My most memorable case was a child caller, about six years old. He called 911 on his mom’s cell phone, but it disconnected before he could say anything. I couldn’t do anything because the phone wasn’t connected long enough to get an address. He called back, and he said his mom wouldn’t wake up. He said, “I even hit her with my plastic sword.” He didn’t know his address and couldn’t really read.

Photo: Creative Commons/mliu92

He knew some letters, so I had him dump his mom’s purse looking for her license. I asked where she kept the mail, the medicines, anything that would get me an address. After about 45 mins, we managed to get his mom’s name, and track down the complex they lived in. I called the neighboring city later, and found out the mom took a sleeping pill and laid down for a nap. She was fine. Teach your kids their address. Reddit User: ccubb15

Making Preparations

I was an EMT in an urban area for a few years, and the call in question was super straight forward. The man on the other end of the line was in his mid-to-late 60s. He went out into the woods behind his house, and never came back. It was my first month on the job and my first case of that nature.

Photo: Creative Commons/Matthew Traucht

I remember thinking it was kind of odd because he was pretty far back in the woods, and he even laid out a tarp underneath him beforehand. Then we went into the house before we left to talk to the other officer on the scene, and everything in the whole house was packed up and in boxes. The officer showed us a note where the guy talked about how much it hurt him when his wife died, and how he didn’t have any other family.

There was also a long apology for doing it. He said he packed everything into boxes, cleaned the house, and laid out the tarp to be as considerate as possible of whoever ended up dealing with his estate. He didn’t want to be a burden but just couldn’t do it anymore. I can’t articulate what it is about this that stuck with me. Maybe the lengths he went to. Every now and then I think of him and it just makes my heart sad. Reddit User: EtherealWasteland

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