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View Full Version : Made my first ever 999 call



Glom
2012-Feb-11, 11:20 PM
Now I am a man. :)

Nothing particularly glamorous though. A guy very drunk, or possibly on drugs, in the middle of a road trying to block cars driving through. He slowed one down and then started banging on it and yanking the passenger door handle yelling to be let in in a very aggressive way. The driver was reluctant to attempt speed off with the guy holding onto the door handle, perhaps for fear of injuring him and getting in trouble himself. The assailant was with a friend, who as trying to get him to stop it, but I think the friend may have been Captain Harriman of the USS Enterprise B if you know what I mean.

I was walking past to where my car was parked round the corner and decided I should probably report this once I was clear of the immediate area (ie clear of where I might get the assailants negative attention if I made the call).

My new HTC Sensation shows a cool red siren when calling 999.

Ah Watford. There's a reason we call it... well never mind what we call it.

slang
2012-Feb-12, 01:03 AM
Ahh... police calls.. A few weeks ago me and a bunch of co-workers (is the dash required, Gillian? To avoid confusion about what "orkers" are, exactly, and what they do to cows?) were taking a walk during lunch break, and observed an individual with a sub-standard vehicle attempting to pull a female person from said vehicle. Apparently he was not very skilled at this, since he tried to achieve his goal by pulling on hair. It was not very succesful, and he made us aware of his frustration by screaming loudly. It appeared that he was less than pleased with the other person's personal hygiene, since he called her a dirty woman of negotiable affection (paraphrased). I have to commend his social skills, because he immediately quit his quite loud behaviour when he noticed it was disturbing the telephone conversations some of us were starting. He even obliged us by letting his passenger leave his vehicle and driving away as quickly as possible, probably to make sure he would not intrude upon our conversations with unneccesary noise. He did let one of us know that he was on his "list". I'm sure my co-worker looks forward to the christmas card.

Gillianren
2012-Feb-12, 01:34 AM
No hyphen in coworker. There's that assumption that you'll understand it without; hyphens are generally only there to provide clarity.

I've never called 911, but the campus police at my alma mater were well acquainted with me. I lived next door to the freshman dorm and would occasionally have to call with noise complaints in the wee hours. Once, it was actually something in my own building--someone on the floor above me was bowling down the hallway.

Fazor
2012-Feb-12, 01:51 AM
I don't recall ever calling 9-1-1, but I've called the police multiple times. We called 9-1-1 last spring after witnessing a (probably) fatal accident. But Tara made the call, I was rendering aid as best I could.

Gemini
2012-Feb-12, 02:49 AM
My first 911 call back in '07:

"Hello, Emergency Services, what is your location?" (Calling from cell phone)

"Yes, I'm at..." Suddenly, I realized I had no idea where I was specifically, aside from somewhere between Cullman and Birmingham on I-65 watching Star Trek III on the DVD player in my mom's Tahoe. For a brief moment I though about giving the flippant answer of "in the back seat of an SUV, upside down in ditch." but decided against it because A) This wasn't a time for jokes B) I technically wasn't upside down anymore; I had managed to unbuckle and was currently sitting on the ceiling of the vehicle.

vonmazur
2012-Feb-12, 05:58 AM
My first 911 call back in '07:

"Hello, Emergency Services, what is your location?" (Calling from cell phone)

"Yes, I'm at..." Suddenly, I realized I had no idea where I was specifically, aside from somewhere between Cullman and Birmingham on I-65 watching Star Trek III on the DVD player in my mom's Tahoe. For a brief moment I though about giving the flippant answer of "in the back seat of an SUV, upside down in ditch." but decided against it because A) This wasn't a time for jokes B) I technically wasn't upside down anymore; I had managed to unbuckle and was currently sitting on the ceiling of the vehicle.

Did anyone show up? Cullman County is notorious for taking their time..

Dale in Birmingham

Ara Pacis
2012-Feb-12, 06:17 AM
I've called 911 numerous times. A house fire, car broke down and blocking traffic, when I was rear-ended and one of the cars was undrivable and blocking traffic. I think there have been other times too and at least once when I thought a store was about to be robbed that I entered the number but didn't hit send and later thought I heard a voice on the phone and thought my call had actually dialed but I hung it up before realizing it but no one showed up (this was before they had good geolocation on cells).

Tinaa
2012-Feb-12, 12:45 PM
I had to call 911 to report cattle out on the road. I wasn't sure where I was - somewhere between Yoakum and Gonzalez. I described the type of cow and the stretch of road and the dispatcher knew where I was. That really impressed me.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Feb-12, 02:16 PM
I had to call 911 to report cattle out on the road. I wasn't sure where I was - somewhere between Yoakum and Gonzalez. I described the type of cow and the stretch of road and the dispatcher knew where I was. That really impressed me.
Likely not the first time they got a call about them.

Perikles
2012-Feb-12, 02:24 PM
No hyphen in coworker. There's that assumption that you'll understand it without; hyphens are generally only there to provide clarity..Perhaps this is just a BrE/AmE difference, but I'd put the hyphen in, precisely for that clarity. The OED gives words directly connected with cattle without a hyphen, and others with. Thus cowboy, cowbell, cowhand, cowhide, cowpox etc. but co-worker, co-write, cow-parsley (which is not conncted directly with cows).

HenrikOlsen
2012-Feb-12, 02:39 PM
The rule for hyphenating combined words seems to be that it's hyphenates when first used, then the hyphen tends to disappear over time as the combined word gets accepted as one in its own right.

There's not really any logic to it other than habituation.

Trebuchet
2012-Feb-12, 04:21 PM
I've called 9-1-1 several times for medical emergencies, once or twice for accidents, and once for a guy picking "magic mushrooms" in our backyard in the middle of the night.

I've always seen the word "coworkers" as "cow-orkers" ever since I first saw it in a Scott Adams (Dilbert cartoonist) newsletter. That was way back in the days before blogs.

Luckmeister
2012-Feb-12, 06:04 PM
Back before there were cellphones, I had a 2-meter ham rig in my car equipped with Autopatch so I could make phone calls through the local repeater. I was following a drunk on the freeway who was barely keeping the car on the road, so I called the State Patrol (that was before the 911 system was implemented). While I was talking to the dispatcher, the drunk crashed into a sign between the freeway and an exit ramp. The difficult part was trying to explain to the dispatcher how I was talking to her from my car on a landline phone number not assigned to mobile communications. I had to convince her I was not making a crank call.

Tog
2012-Feb-13, 08:41 AM
I used to call the regular police dispatch a lot when I worked at the grocery store. Those were less to stop the crime than they were to come and collect the people we had in custody. At the hotel, I've called dispatch a couple of times, but 911 only once.

Twenty plus years of customer service have given me decent situational awareness. We had a room where two guys had been staying for a week while their car was being fixed. They took a cab to liquor store every night, and again every morning. Their last night with us, they had some in room entertainment stop by. This needs clarification.

In Utah, there are certain agencies that will send an exotic dancer to do a private show. This is not to be confused with hiring a rent-a-date, even though everyone involved knows that to be the case. (Still giggling over "negotiable affection" BTW).

So these guys hire a pair of girls to dance for them. (To the hotel clock radio, because none ever bring in a music device.) About half an hour later, the girls leave, looking sort of angry. One goes back up to the room, and about 30 seconds later two guys that look like cliches of Eastern European thugs go up. I called 911 while they were in the elevator.

I told the dispatcher that nothing was happening yet, but that I fully expected there to be a fight at minimum and possible gunfire. About then, the fighting started. I was on the phone with the operator when the two thugs came down with the girl. They hurried out the door and into the SUV. About a minute later, the cops arrived and went to the room where the two men were now fighting each other.

The cops checked things out and filled me in. The guys hired some dancers, and when the girls made the offer for additional services for tips, the guys declined citing lack of funds and sent them on their way. The one girl didn't like that idea and sent the other two guys up to teach the guys how things are done.

In the end, no one was hurt and I told the guys in the room that if anyone complained about the noise for the rest of the night, I'd have to kick them out. Since they were way past just drunk, they'd get busted for public intoxication and spend the night in jail.

The rest of the night passed without incident.

ggremlin
2012-Feb-13, 09:04 AM
My first 911 call:

A car got stalled in the high speed breakdown lane under a bridge on Route 95 in an area know as the "S" curves in Rhode Island late one night. The area is locally well known as extremely dangerous to break down in. I almost hit one of the "people" getting out on the passenger's side.

Naturally I called 911 immediately to report this before someone got killed. They put me on HOLD! I kid you not. At least they picked up within a minute and I reported the problem, they immediately attempted to contact the local phone and couldn't get anyone to pick-up. 911 promised to contact the local or state police but let me go as I was leaving the area.

I never did find out what happened but there was nothing reported in the local news so I assume everything worked out.

LookingSkyward
2012-Feb-13, 01:03 PM
Luckmeister - last fall I called 9-1-1 to report a powerline down in the road and arcing. My cell battery died mid-call, but I managed to call my wife on my 2 meter moblie ham radio and she relayed to 9-1-1. They were happy to hear that my call ended due to batteries, and not a crash. We live in a pretty rural stretch of road, and have called 9-1-1 a few times to report accidents.

Taeolas
2012-Feb-13, 01:55 PM
I've only had to call 911 once. I was at my old apartments, and I was woken up late on a Friday night/Saturday morning in the summer to the sounds of an argument going on in the cul-de-sac just outside my apartment building. I couldn't see clearly what was going on, but it was starting/stopping and getting annoying, so I called it in and just reported what I was seeing/hearing. A cop came around and talked with some people in the parking lot, and otherwise things calmed down. (I had the feeling I wasn't the only one calling that in). There were a few other times it was tempting to call in noise complaints (different people each time usually; not one unit and usually weeks/months between occurrences so it wasn't that bad) but I only felt like I had to do it once.

slang
2012-Feb-13, 05:16 PM
(Still giggling over "negotiable affection" BTW).

Kudos Terry Pratchett (http://wiki.lspace.org/wiki/Seamstresses%27_Guild). Who else... :)

Gemini
2012-Feb-13, 07:43 PM
Did anyone show up? Cullman County is notorious for taking their time..

Dale in Birmingham

They got there pretty quickly, though the first people on the scene were just regular passers-by.

Perikles
2012-Feb-13, 07:46 PM
I've only ever made one 999 call. I had been walking through a park in Leeds (Yorkshire, UK) and I spotted a bloke in a tree, who seemed harmless enough except that he was wielding an axe. So I phoned 999 and described him as dirty, long haired, disheveled, small, axe-wielding, probably high on drugs and alcohol. On leaving the park, I saw a police car, which I flagged down. The female police officer looked very alarmed when I confronted her, but later relaxed and admitted she thought I might be the maniac which somebody had been reporting. I went home and had a bath and a haircut.

Gillianren
2012-Feb-13, 07:49 PM
And left your axe at home?

vonmazur
2012-Feb-14, 06:27 AM
They got there pretty quickly, though the first people on the scene were just regular passers-by.

Glad that they showed up...I hope everything worked out for you and your family OK...

Dale

Jerry
2012-Feb-15, 02:02 AM
Interesting.

I've called 911 many times - more than a dozen including a call before there 'was' a 911, always life-or-death situations, never involving fights or drunks, although I have been a bouncer.

Whether life is on an edge or not depends upon social content...and the age of your community.

Chuck
2012-Feb-15, 02:42 PM
I've never called 911. I was asked to once but it was by a boy of about 10, so I asked him why. He said his friend was stuck in a tree in the vacant lot next door. It was about two meters off the ground so I went over and lifted him down myself.

Fazor
2012-Feb-15, 03:30 PM
There was one time where I dialed 9-1-... and then hung up. I was driving to a conference and passed a home fully engulfed in flames. It was on Main street, which is four lanes at that point, so as I made sure I was clear to pull over (there was nobody standing around, so was in the process of getting to the home itself to pound on the door / listen for people inside.) Then I pulled out my phone.

Before I could even hit the final '1', the firetruck pulled up. The fire station is just around the corner, and the captain had passed it not two minutes before I did, and he had called it in. Why *he* wasn't checking the doors/windows for victims I don't know.

. . . turned out to be an arson. Insurance-related; tenant moved out his good furniture and television into storage then set the home up. He's currently rotting in jail. Coming as both someone trained in law enforcement and someone who sells insurance, if you're going to fraudulently burn down your house, don't do something as obvious as move the things you like out first.

The funniest part though? The conference I was on my way to that morning was about smoke and fire damage mitigation and remediation. :)

Fazor
2012-Feb-15, 03:39 PM
Ack! That story cleared the cobwebs. I knew I had to have called 9-1-1 at least once. A year or so ago we were sitting at work and I noticed some smoke in the sky. Looked close to the office, which is a residential area. The smoke plume got bigger and darker in just a matter of a minute or two. It was quickly obvious that it was a fire, and not the "we're illegally burning leaves in town" type, so I called it in. I couldn't tell where it was coming from, but there's also a fire station in the same few blocks (we have 3 separate stations in town.) All I could tell them was "Were at this address. There's a fire somewhere a few blocks to the southwest. They should be able to see it from the station house." Lady said that they were getting other calls on it too, and thanked me. Hung up.

Turned out to be a few more blocks over than it appeared, which is a factory for Anchor Hocking glassware. One of their furnace blowers went up, so it was indeed a bonefide fire. Fortunately, it was internal in their machinery/stacks, and was contained before anyone was really in any danger.

I have a funny story about a time a *friend* called 9-1-1, but I just made two posts in a row so I'll give others some time to speak first.

rigel
2012-Feb-15, 03:52 PM
Well before 911,(1965) I watched a car leave the road and roll down an embankment. I pulled a mother and daughter from the car and took them to my house ( about 100ft) and called an ambulance. Then fixed up some minor cuts. Since then I have made many emergency calls.

slang
2012-Feb-16, 12:02 AM
*pokes Fazor*

I've called our "911" a few times related to dangerous traffic situations, and "regular police" for suspected burglary in the school across the street. Especially with the traffic situations I usually hear "yes, thank you, we were already aware".

astropaz
2012-Feb-16, 08:00 AM
Apart from running into a store to tell someone to call 000(Australian version of 911) when I was a kid the only time I have called it was when a friend got hit by a car, without going into details it did not have a happy ending.
Kudos must go out to the phone operators though for helping to deal with what was as extremely panicked situation. I'm not sure what it is but under tense situations in the past it's been easy to keep your head but when it involves someone you know the brain just fails to think rationally and you forget things that you know. At least that was the case for me.

Fazor
2012-Feb-16, 03:58 PM
Okay, gave it enough time (sometimes I feel like I talk too much. Othertimes I know I do. ;)):

When we were young, my family and three other families with kids the same age as my brother and myself would go to a local pizza place every Friday night. (For the record, the kids of these families are still my closest friends. Well, most of them.)

It was a small restaurant with a lobby up front for pickup orders, and then seating for dine-in was in a room off to the side. The lobby had the arcade cabinets in it, and so us kids would spend a lot of time out front playing while the parents sat and talked. One night, the older kids (probably 12 or 13 at the time) thought it'd be funny to pick up the pay phone, and "dial 9-1-1" but while holding the lever down, so the line wasn't actually open. A little while later, one of the younger ones (maybe 9?) thought he'd emulate the joke. He picked up the phone and dialed 9-1-1 then hung up with a big grin. The rest of us were yelling at him when, with that "ha ha fooled you!" tone he said, "Ha! Tricked you. *I* didn't put a quarter in!"

. . . needless to say, the small-town police showed up a few minutes later to investigate a hang-up emergency call from the business. We weren't allowed to play outside our parents' sight for the next month! :-P

Poor kid still hasn't lived that down, and that was 20 years ago. "Excuse me, robber? Can you give me a minute. I just need to find a quarter to call 9-1-1." Or "Pardon me, fire. Can you quit burning for a moment while I search for a quarter?"

DoggerDan
2012-Feb-23, 08:18 AM
I've called half a dozen times over the last twenty years to report criminal mischief.

SeanF
2012-Feb-23, 02:54 PM
I've never had to call 911, but I can tell a 911 story that I'm tangentially part of.

My Mom was having trouble starting her lawn mower, so she decided to call me for help - from her garage phone, calling my cell phone. Now, her garage phone is kind of flaky, with one particular button that often doesn't "take" when you press it. As she began dialing my number, she realized that the button hadn't "taken," but not until she had dialed digits after it. So she just hung up in frustration and decided not to bother calling me.

What she didn't stop to think about was that the bad button was the "4" and my phone number begins 941-1. Yep, she had just made a hang-up 911 call. They did try to call back, but by then Mom had left the garage. My grandmother answered the call inside the house and told them she knew nothing about a 911 call being made.

The good news is that the police officer who was dispatched to the house helped Mom get the lawn mower started. :)

Tobin Dax
2012-Feb-24, 04:19 AM
The good news is that the police officer who was dispatched to the house helped Mom get the lawn mower started. :)

Sure, but how long did it take him to respond to the call? Some things are important! ;)

Tog
2012-Feb-24, 09:03 AM
I made another one tonight. It just so happens that the night supervisors from the local PD each know me well enough to fill me in on the details.

I work in a hotel, on the graveyard shift. Just before midnight, a guest came in and told me to call 911 and report a man with a gun chasing two other men down the street. I made the call, and it annoyed me a bit because it took a full 30 seconds of info gathering that did not pertain to the reason I was calling.

When he finally asked what the nature of the problem, I told him what had been passed on to me. The guest didn't want to be involved to the point he refused to even talk with the operator, so I was forced to relay questions and answers back and forth. The guest didn't seem to understand this, and thought I was asking for myself. When I asked if he had a description of the guy, he said, "he's right out there, you want me to go look and get shot?" At that point, I was getting more comfortable with the idea, but didn't say that.

The car stayed in the parking lot beside ours for about 5 minutes after I called, then it drove off, but not really in a rush. A couple of minutes later, it pulled up in our loading area and was penned in by several police cars.

The same guy worried about getting shot minutes before moved right up to the windows. I guess once the cops pull up, no one would bother shooting.

I thought it was odd that the police seemed very relaxed about the entire thing; no lights, no weapons drawn that I could see. I've seen more aggressive responses for a speeding ticket.

When the Sgt. came in, I got the full story. A road-rage incident led to the people we called about pulling over while the other car pulled up across the street. The other people came over brandishing knives. The guy in the car drew his gun and backed them off, then called 911. We were both on the phone at the same time about the same incident, but with vastly different points of view.

Sadly, this is one of the quieter nights this week.

boppa
2012-Mar-01, 02:25 AM
I have only ever had to make one 000 (our 911 or 999 depending on your country) call and sadly it didn't end well.
I was driving through a national park and came across a very nasty accident where a horse (wild) had run out of the trees and across the road.
Unfortunately a car was coming around the corner at the same time and hit the horse straight on. This was a Falcon (large sedan) that had been turned into a convertible by the accident, the horse had slid up over the bonnet and taken the roof of the car completely off with its body.
Sadly I had to tell the police and ambo's not to bother rushing, as both of the people inside (young couple) hadn't survived.
:-(

One thing that I would like to point out to travellers to other countries is to check exactly what the local emergency number actually is!!!
For example here in Oz its 000 and is a free call from any phone (including payphones). 911 has recently been added to a redirect to 000 due to the number of people calling it (US based cop shows to blame perhaps?) however if calling from a payphone, this is not a free call. prior to the 911 redirect being implimented there were several cases reported in the media where people had been calling the wrong number with the resulting delays in getting emergency help.
Another number to remember (as if there wasn't enough confusion already) is 112, which in Oz will allow an emergency call to be made on whatever cellphone network is available to the phone, regardless of whether you are a subscriber to that network or not. This is very handy as there are basically 3 or 4 major companies that each have their own networks of celltowers, and you can often be in the possition of not having a signal available from your service provider, while another companys signal is 5/5.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Mar-01, 03:59 AM
I have only ever had to make one 000 (our 911 or 999 depending on your country)...
It's 112 here.

I think the modern cellphone standards mandates that 112 (and possibly 911) is not only for free emergency calls but will work on the phone even without a SIM card or a valid subscription.

So that is definitely the number to remember if you have a cellphone since it'll work regardless of what the local conventions are.

boppa
2012-Mar-01, 04:15 AM
112 does work (altho only recently in Oz) BUT only on cellphones, dialling that on a landline wont connect to anything. 000 is the only number to call here (on landlines or cell phones(as it will work from any payphone etc without the need for money) but 911 (again this is only a recent redirect to 000) isnt a free call and you have to put coins in to get the payphone to ring 911 through to 000. The 112 number is useful to know for a cellphone user as it will force any companies network to let the call through to 000, which is handy if you have no signal on your own phones network(common in many country areas where telstra is often the only provider)

(if all that makes any sense LOL)