911 Operators Share Stories Of Their Most Memorable Calls.

Some of these are people who should be charged for wasting the dispatcher's time. Some of them are mysterious. Some are just silly.

But they all have one thing in common: they gave the 911 operators of Reddit their most memorable calls.

A call comes through in the dead of night. A middle-aged fellow is reporting a burglary in progress in a lower income part of town. He's locked himself in the bathroom and is communicating in short, terrified whispers. 

He describes the whole event in great detail - who, what, where, how. He describes the sound of feet shuffling around the house, getting nearer to him. He hears a couple of male voices talking about which items to take and 'if anyone is here.' He describes seeing the shadows of two pairs of feet walking by the door into his bedroom. 

He's pleading with me to hurry up and send the police because he doesn't have any weapons and he has a disability and what if they hurt him? He's quietly sobbing as he tells me that they're right outside the bathroom door now, and they know he's in there. I hear a small knock in the background.

Police arrive at that moment and clear the scene, I tell him to come to the door, it's safe now. He does so and disconnects the line. 

I heard later from the officers that when the guy opened the door, the entire house was covered wall to wall in aluminum foil and webs of fishing lines and other booby traps so thickly spread throughout the house that it was impossible for any creature, human or otherwise, to have entered or sneaked around the residence, much less the homeowner himself. He had been sitting by the front door the entire time.


I got a dropped call from a house that had no phone. We get a lot of phantom calls from vacant houses, usually due to malfunctions with the phone lines or the phone company. 

Anyway, we got a dropped call from this house, so officers went to make checks. The house was vacant. But right before they left, they looked over at the property next door and saw a dead body in the garage.


A quite pregnant (don't remember exactly how far along, but definitely past 30 weeks) woman calls to say that her doctor told her to refrain from having sex for the rest of her pregnancy, and she didn't understand why. It turned out she was having pre-term contractions. I explained that sexual activity can cause them, so it was safer to abstain so the baby could stay inside as long as possible.

She tearfully exclaims, "But how will I feed the baby?" (continued...)

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Me: "I'm sorry, ma'am, could you repeat that?"

Patient: "How will I feed the baby if I can't have sex?!"

The patient was convinced that her baby was living off of her boyfriend's semen, and that it would starve if they stopped having sex. I explained how the umbilical cord works, but she refused to believe me until I asked her about single moms and same-sex couples. How did she think their babies feed and grow? After a moment of silence, she thanked me, and started to hang up the phone, but not before I heard her screaming her boyfriends name.

That man had a good thing going for a while there. I honestly wasn't sure if I felt more sorry for her, or a baby growing up in that household.


Once we had a young woman call 911 around 2am saying that her legs were turning blue. Turns out she had worn a new pair of jeans to the club that night.


Had a drunk person call to report he was being harassed. The truth was that he was being arrested by police officers for throwing pizza at people. All I heard in the background was one of the officers saying to him, "That better not be a dispatcher on the phone!" followed by some muffled talking. Finally, the officer took the phone and said, "He will be taking a ride with us now."

I also had a drunk woman call 911 because she couldn't remember the passcode for her phone.


Caller: A deer just swam across the river behind my house.

Me: Okay?

Caller: I am worried it might be cold.

Me: Well… theres nothing we can do about a deer being cold. Didn't it run off after swinning the river?

Caller: Yes.

Me: Ma'am, it's a wild animal. I'd guess it's going to be fine.

Caller: You sure?


A few years ago, there was a huge pileup involving several cars and fatalities. Clearly it caused miles of traffic. A woman called 911, insisting that she be escorted "out of the traffic" by a trooper. (continued...)

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Her reason? Because she "had to get home", and it was "ridiculous that she should be stuck like that." People are dead here, lady. Sorry you're not gonna make it home in time for Jeopardy.

And before anybody asks - no, she had no medical condition, unless you count delusions of grandeur.


I had a lady trying to call an ambulance because she opened a package from Amazon at home and she was afraid that that her kid was about to have a major allergic reaction. To the packing peanuts. Because he was allergic to actual peanuts, and when he mentioned what they were called, she freaked out.


Someone dialled 911 to request her mugshot be removed from the internet. She got charged for misuse of emergency resources, and got a new mugshot for her trouble.


I had a guy who picked his wart at 3am and it was bleeding.

That's it. That's the story. Thats why he called 911.


My mom works as a 911 operator. She got a call one time from a girl in gym class at the local high school. She was in a panic and completely serious saying there was a squirrel on top of a telephone pole at the school and it wasn't coming down.


I have been in the 911 business for over 22 years. If a caller starts the call with "I swear I'm not insane" then you need to buckle up for something interesting. 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 pretty hard.


Me: "911. This line is recorded, what is your emergency?"

Caller: "Hi. Um, I don't know if this counts, but four days ago I noticed a U-Haul truck in my neighbor's driveway." (continued...)

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Me: "Okay?"

Caller: "Well, the two guys looked really suspicious. They were walking around the house like they didn't belong there."

Me: "Four days ago?"

Caller: "It's been bothering me because my neighbors have been on vacation and no one should be there."

Me: "Well take a look."

The entire house had been ransacked. All the valuables were gone. Too much time had passed for the local pawn shops to have the items. They know when something is stolen and move it out quickly. 

Moral of the story: if something doesn't seem right, don't ever second guess calling the cops immediately. If the operator gives you attitude, make a complaint.


"The neighbor is giving my horse drugs." I got this complaint at 5am or earlier, every. Single. Day. Usually followed up about an hour later by:

"It's crack!"

Lady, nobody is giving your horse drugs. Drugs are expensive.


I 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, 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.


Had a guy call asking if it was legal to shoot his neighbor because his hedges were hanging over his property and he considered it "trespassing."

I also once had a woman call during a power outage asking what she should do with her steaks.


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One woman called because she thought her house was being shot at. Turns out she forgot about her eggs boiling on the stove and they exploded. I wanted to give her a hug though - she was just a little old lady.


This was in Gilbert, Arizona (if you know about this place this story shouldn't surprise you). The call came in from an elderly woman because there was a "Black guy" at the park. I asked her what he was doing; she said "Nothing, he's just sitting there." So I asked her what the problem was. Her response was "he shouldn't be there." I almost sent the cops to her place to pick her up as an unstable person.


"My washing machine is telling me to file for bankruptcy." This was a confused elderly lady so it was actually a little sad, but I'm including it because it left me completely speechless at the time. I think my response was, "I... you... what?"


We had a call come in for a "car wreck" at about 3AM. Dispatch was unsure of where the car was because the call was cut off but the cell phone pinged in the area they dispatched us to. 

We couldn't find the car or the lady. Dispatch comes back and says that they assumed it was a car wreck because the lady said, "I can't get out of the car" and "I can't breathe." We never found the car or the lady. 

In the back of my mind, I always wondered if she was kidnapped, in a trunk of a car somewhere and the kidnapper caught her on the phone and shut it off.


We had an old woman call in and say there were two guys dressed in blue trying to break in her house to kill her. So we send about six cops over to her house. (continued...)

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It turns out they were workers from the the gas company who had come around to read her gas meter.


I manned the phones for a bit while the dispatcher used the ladies room. When the phone rings, I identify myself and ask what the emergency is. I hear a little girl on the other end of the phone and she says, "A police officer said I can call you if I need help, and I need help." 

I asked her what she needs help with, and she says "homework. I asked her to put her parents on the phone for a minute so I could make sure that it's okay for me to help her (mostly just to reassure them that she wasn't going to be in trouble for calling 911).

The parents answer the phone and clearly sound upset that she called 911 for homework. I reassure them that it's no issue and if it is okay I will come over and talk to her about it.

Jump to me arriving at their house in the cruiser and the little girl is sitting on the front step waiting. I quickly explain to her that she shouldn't call 911 to help with homework, and instead gave her my business card to call my desk if she needs help with that kind of stuff. I spent two hours teaching her math that night since we weren't very busy.


One guy called frantically saying that he saw the dead body of a young woman, early 20s, wearing nothing but shorts. He gave a detailed description, hair color, skin color, body position, and said she was by the side of the interstate.

This was in the middle of an affluent suburban area at rush hour, so we figured it had to be a really fresh crime scene. We started scrambling together officers to get there ASAP, a big hassle considering it's rush hour.

The guy calls back a few minutes later. "Uh, I checked again. It's a dead deer. Sorry."

Peeved, I announce on the radio that the trip is cancelled, "It was a deer." An officer sarcastically calls back: "With shorts on?!"


Sources: 123.

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