A 911 dispatcher’s job is tough but invaluable work. A regular shift can be a stressful affair: helping people in crisis, coordinating emergency responders, and staying level-headed throughout it all.
Funniest 911 Phone Calls
Sometimes, however, a certain call can brighten a dispatcher’s day or provide a sorely needed laugh. Here are 13 of the most ridiculous phone calls received by real-life dispatchers.
This dispatcher recalled a foiled prank call that made their day: “I had a kid ask me if my refrigerator was ‘working.’ I replied ‘Do you mean is it running?” Frustrated, the boy cursed and quickly hung up.
One little girl once called 911 to inform dispatchers that “her mommy and daddy were making whoopie.” After a good laugh, the dispatcher called back to check on the family.
“Her mom tried to play it off, saying they were wrapping Christmas presents,” they revealed in their post. “Yeah, sure, lady. If your present is a new little brother or sister.”
One Redditor shared the favorite anecdote of their uncle, who worked as a 911 operator.
One shift, he took the call of a four-year-old boy who wanted to report his older brother for farting on him. “My uncle said he was laughing too hard and had to wait a couple of extra seconds before calling the number back,” the user wrote.
The boy’s mother answered the phone and, once she heard what had happened, apologized profusely for the incident. “My uncle said it was a welcome moment of levity during a stressful holiday workweek,” concluded the Redditor.
When this user was in the 4th grade, her mother got a job as an operator. After explaining to her children that she worked at the place that received 911 calls, the mom received a call from her young son. “My brother called 911 just to tell mom ‘bout his day,” the user remembered.
“My cousin called because she was giving her lizard a bath, and it went down the drain,” shared this Redditor. The beloved pet was a tiny house gecko called Steve. The six-year-old cousin then called 911 sobbing to tell them that “Steve was drowning.”
However, by the time the dispatcher realized that the victim in question was a gecko, police and firefighters had already pulled into the driveway.
“A four-year-old called in to say that his dad took his trick-or-treat candy,” wrote this online user.
In the end, it was a case of responsible parenting: “Yeah, he took it, so the kid wouldn’t fill his face in a single night. The dad was planning to ration it out.”
This user’s story precedes the days of 911, which was made the United States’ official emergency phone number in 1999. “My dad was the Chief of Police when I was growing up, and I spent a lot of time at the station,” they recalled.
When the Redditor was a young child, their mom did not allow them to do something. As a countermove, the young kid called the station’s emergency line to request that police arrest their mother.
“I got a lecture that night, but from what my dad says, they had a good laugh about it at the station,” they disclosed.
“I only worked dispatch for a few months, and I got a call for a fish being stuck in a woman’s ear,” wrote one former operator.
This Redditor’s father always told the story of how, back in 2009, he received a call from someone asking how many grams of marijuana he could have in his possession while driving through the state.
“They went back and forth for maybe twenty minutes of the guy repeating and rephrasing the question and my dad just responding ‘None,’” the user shared.
“A man requiring extrication from an Under Armor insulated shirt,” described a 911 operator.
The man’s shoulder apparently popped out of its socket while he put it on, leaving him trapped within the shirt.
According to the dispatcher, the man was laughing and said, “I would have driven myself to the hospital, but I would have had to drive with my arm out the window!”
An adult man with a very thick foreign accent called to report “a monster trying to get into his son’s room,” according to the operator who answered.
When the boy described the creature, he said it was the size of a dog, with tiny human hands, and it had climbed up the tree to the bedroom window. Unable to disguise their laughter, the dispatcher told the kid to check if the animal had rings around its tail.
“They had just moved to America a month ago and had never heard of raccoons,” they revealed. “I explained what a trash panda was and welcomed him to our wild jungle.”
“I was a 911 dispatcher years ago,” explained this Redditor, who went on to describe the phone call that still makes them laugh.
An anxious mother once called the emergency line to report that her six-year-old son had gotten into the roof. She was terrified, but not for his safety.
Instead, she screamed that emergency responders had to arrive quickly because the last time the boy had done this, “he peed in the air vents.”
“Actual 911 operator here,” wrote this Redditor. Their silliest phone call came from a man, “all concerned about the number of birds flying around because there was an air show nearby. He was worried the planes would hit the birds.”
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I'm an Irish tutor and founder of TPR Teaching. I started teaching in 2016 and have since taught in the UK, Spain, and online.
I love learning new things about the English language and how to teach it better. I'm always trying to improve my knowledge, so I can better meet the needs of others!
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