Emergency call operators tell bloody crazy stories about people who had to ask for help in code
For the sake of convenience, we’re just going to assume that everyone out there in the comments section has seen movies before. On top of that, we’re going to assume you’ve all seen the kinds of movies that have someone in deep doo-doo trying to call emergency services without actually saying while they’re calling. Obviously, the reasons for the call aren’t good, but let’s just assume the worst: if they’re found to be calling, the bad guys will friggen dust ‘em. Well, crazily enough, that scenario happens in real life too.
As you probably know, the world is chock-a-block full of bloody crazy people and those crazy people cause all sorts of crazy situations. In the movies, these situations usually have a fair bit of soap-opera about them.
Details are sparse in my head from being so long ago but here goes what I got:
The call started with a “Hi Mom!” (For the record, I’m a dude, and my phone voice is more of a baritone so clearly not a Mom.) It’s really not uncommon for people to completely ignore the first words out of your mouth when you answer the phone. “911, Where is your emergency”, “Yeah, I’d like a large pepperoni pizza”, “Sir, do you realize you called 911?”… “Whoops”.. This scene played out way too often.
So on I went, “Sir, this is ** County 911, did you miss-dial?”
“No Mom, I didn’t. Got time to chat?”
And the call went on from there. It was a domestic issue and the other party was in the kitchen with him. He didn’t feel safe. I kept him talking and even tried a few jokes to keep him on the phone until the officers arrived. That’s the part of the job that can be stressful, the waiting. When you have someone on the phone with an in-progress issue, you do not abandon them.
The officers finally arrived, the caller disconnected with a “Thank you” and that’s the last I heard of it. Off to the next call. – NineTwenty
Kidnappers, serial killers and the like are all pretty renowned for causing a bit of grief to innocent people, but after reading through a few explanations from Emergency call operators who’ve had to decipher coded conversations, you’ll see that this s**t really could happen to anyone.
Me: 911, what’s your emergency?
Them: Hi, mom. How are you?
Me: Are you in direct danger?
Them: Yeah, but I’m doing alright, mom. How are you?
Me: Can you verify that you address is (the one that popped up on my screen)?
Them: Yeah, that sounds good. Looking forward to dad visiting soon. Wish you could make it out here, too.
(At this point I’m sending everything I can to their location – police, fire, EMS)
Me: Help is on the way, ma’am. I want you to stay on the phone with me until they get there.
Them: I’ll try, but don’t know if I can, mom. Might not be able to afford it.
Me: I understand. Stay with me as long as you can.
We talked for about 30 seconds more before the police got to her location. Someone’s crazy ex showed up at their place of work with a gun, demanding to see said ex. This woman at the front desk had the wits and calm to fake phone call to her mom while talking to me, the 911 operator. When the police got there, he saw them pull up, walked out and peacefully surrendered. I will remember that call and how calm and brave that woman was for the rest of my life.
Edited to add: this was years before everyone and their pet had a cell phone. – Rose-Thorn
Pretty high on the list, the always popular nutbag ex-lover seems to be a pretty common reason for people who need some urgent bloody help while maintaining a friendly façade. There’s also the frequent appearance of domestic abusers turning up and that makes an awful lot of sense to us. Finally, you’ve got the everyday criminals.
911 operator here. I had a caller who I could tell was in distress from her breathing. As I kept talking she kept shushing me. I asked if she could tap on her phone once for yes and twice for no. I as I asked her yes and no questions I was able to use the GPS on her phone to get her location and decipher that someone was in her house and she was hiding. Police arrived on scene and it was her ex who had a gun and was looking for her. 9 years and that was one of the most craziest calls. Those stick with you. – Zamindari
One thing we can’t help but notice, though, is that all of these people have dealt with insane situations in a pretty bloody cool and collected way. Deadset, they say that pressure makes diamonds, but we can’t really begin to imagine how we’d react in the same situation.
I heard an indistinct tussling and then open line with heavy breathing, then the line went dead. I tried to call back and the call was immediately dismissed. Worried I was giving away that whomever had the phone was calling 911, I didnt call back. I waited on another call that never came. We often got butt dials but something about this felt different. There was no arguing or voices other than the breathing. While I waited for a callback, I looked up the owner of the phone. I called another contact number for the owner. The woman who answered said it was a phone she bought for her daughter and that she was worried about her bc she didn’t trust her boyfriend. I immediately did a location search on her coordinates, which can be wildly off, especially in highly populated areas. Thankfully, it came to an industrial area with only one house in the area. I sent officers. The officers keyed up and told me they went to the door and a man answered, there was no female in sight. I then recieved another 911 open line call and I could hear distant wind noises so I thought she was maybe outside. Coordinates were still the same location. I asked the officers to check around the premises bc I had a bad feeling. They found her tied and gagged to a tree in the backyard. – rjonesjcm33
Honestly, these blokes and sheilas making the calls deserve a fair whack of kudos for managing their s**t in legendary fashion. The champions taking the call can’t be forgotten, though. Being able to understand exactly what’s going on and getting help out there deserves a bloody award!
I worked 911 up until a few months ago. I received a call from someone who asked me how I was doing and I originally thought it was a prank but then I asked if there was an emergency. She QUICKLY said yes. So I had to ask questions in a way that she could answer as if she was talking on the phone to one of her friends. The hardest part was getting a description of the subject in the house and her address. She ended up saying something along the lines of, “Silly, dont you remember I live at 1234 Second St, not first Avenue!” Ended up being a domestic and she was pretty beat up but thankfully she got help that night. – bleurougeviolet
Final thought: We’re sure that plenty of you big bewdiful bogans in the comments section have had some pretty hairy experiences. How’ve you dealt with your need to get a coded communication across? Let us know.
Just in case you missed it, here’s one of Ozzy’s latest commentary videos…Ozzy Man Reviews: Ninja Fails