A 911 dispatcher at work
Wikimedia Commons | Riverside County Sheriff's Department

911 Dispatchers Share The Funniest Calls They Couldn't Laugh At

Dan
June 17, 2022

There can be no doubt that first responders have challenging jobs, jobs that deal with life-or-death situations on a daily basis. What often gets forgotten, though, is the work done by 911 dispatchers. These folks are tasked with answering calls from panic-stricken people and then working out the logistics of getting them the help they need.

That doesn't mean every call is a tense, dire situation. Sometimes, 911 dispatchers find themselves stifling laughter. This r/AskReddit thread has some incredible stories.

Everything wants to kill you in Australia.

A herd of cows in a field
Unsplash | Daiga Ellaby

"I once had to call my uncle (who was a cop here in Australia) because I was being bullied by a herd of cattle on his farm. They kept surrounding me and sort of squashing me so I couldn't walk away."

-u/Apprehensive-Ad4244

A reasonable request, all things considered.

A fire truck sitting on tarmac
Unsplash | Philipp Berg

"Fire dispatcher years ago. Guy called in reporting a house fire. Always need accurate address info and ask if anyone is inside before we would proceed with the response. This guy was getting frantic. He's wanting fire trucks and he wants them now!!

As I'm finishing my questioning he yells; Send the motherf---in' fire trucks homey!'"

-u/VaryBasic

That took a turn.

John Cena gif
Giphy | WWE

"State Parks ranger at a public beach in CA has 3 cartel members at gunpoint, they would take these panga boats full of pot and land on the beaches. Well he could jump on our frequency and did so to ask for backup directly, anyways I am training but I take the call, get his 20 and when hes explaining it his phone rings full blast with the John Cena trumpets theme song. I lost it laughing but kept it clear over the air."

-u/IrishSetterPuppy

Ma'am, your head is still attached.

A mannequin head
Unsplash | Viktor Talashuk

"A woman called 111(New Zealand Police Number) was convinced her head was chopped off. I asked her several questions and she was still confident. She lived in a mental health home but it was still just a surprising call I couldn't stop laughing. Another one was accidentally calling a very stern-sounding female 'Sir' and my colleagues around me all burst out in laughter when I apologized."

-u/HeisenbergNz

I fought the spider, and the...spider won.

A spider on a web
Unsplash | Adrian Infernus

"I'm the one who called 911, but im pretty sure they found it hilarious that my mom got beat up by a spider, considering the fact that all the doctors and nurses laughed too. There was a spider on the ceiling, and i begged my mom to kill it. So she got on a chair, and hit it. It fell to the door. She stepped off the chair and instantly fractured 4 spots in her foot. The spider still survived."

-u/SkinHunger55

Must not be much crime in that town.

A police SUV against an arid background
Unsplash | Bastien Junod

"Not one but my best friend is one. I knew all the cops including the chief as they’d always come over for lunch, dinner, etc as they’d go weeks or months without getting called. My mother heard it was slow that day and nobody had called and they were about to get off their shifts. My mother called 911 telling them she made brownies as they all loved hers and rushed over there. Then a year later she called as the chief offered to take her on a ride along in the back of the cop car for craps and giggles."

-u/fg10037

I'll bet they love responding to those calls.

Two pairs of feet intertwined, under blankets
Unsplash | Womanizer Toys

"I had a 911 open line where I could absolutely hear a young man and his lady friend having some vigorous, um, fun. But because I couldn’t get either of them to actually pick up the phone… I had to send a pair of officers to their RapidSOS location."

-u/Gaudy_Tripod

Those dogs should have been fined.

Two dogs standing on a carpet and looking up at the camera
Unsplash | Jay Wennington

"My uncle had a pair of mischievous dogs when he was younger (pre cell phone days). They learned how to call 911 on the landline. People showed up and played with them! From then on when he was at work they’d call 911 at least once a day for attention. I’m sure the dispatchers all got a big laugh constantly over that. And were likely jealous they didn’t get to have a work time play date with some silly dogs!"

-u/CocklesTurnip

I should check my Stardew Valley save.

Gif of someone playing Farmville
Giphy | South Park

"Not a 9-1-1 call, but our dispatch received a call from a woman who was concerned about her friend. She hadn't talked to him in a while and his farm was not being kept up. She had to go in and harvest and feed the animals.

Oh, this farm was in Farmville on Facebook. This was a guy she was only friends with on Facebook, through Farmville."

-u/Lucky-11

A block, not a slice. Let's be very clear.

Stacked blocks of cheese
Unsplash | Alexander Maasch

"Call came in, guy was chasing down a vehicle on some back country road, because the teenagers in the other car had thrown a block of cheese at my caller and hit him in the head.

I confirmed it multiple times before I typed that out. Block, not slice .

Dispatcher put it out over the radio. 2 officers and and the sheriff all called in and confirmed that yes, we said a block of cheese."

-u/asportate

You just played yourself.

A barking dog
Unsplash | Robert Gramner

"I had a friend who is a police officer tell me that at 2 am she got a call about barking dogs. So she goes to the house. The barking dogs belonged to the lady who called. She wanted help controlling her OWN dogs. Like seriously."

-u/EdgeMiserable4381

Hey, sometimes you get emotional.

A platter of different bottles of beer
Unsplash | Sven Brandsma

"I was very new and I was working one night and got a call from a very drunk man. I don’t remember exactly what was going on but I know he was at a bar in a rural area. But I was trying to get his exact location and asked him what was going on and he immediately responded in the most weeping crying way 'I don’t know what that meeeeeans.' I wasn’t expecting this response and it caught me off guard and I immediately had to mute my mic and laughed."

-u/chadsterou

Fear the deer.

A buck standing in a clearing
Unsplash | Laura College

"The one I remember most as 'funny' from when I was a dispatcher was mostly a typo from the calltaker. Our city has a large bridge and if there's debris or other hazard on it, it can be dangerous so officers are sent on code (edited to add: on code here is lights and sirens) to clear it off before somebody hits it and causes an accident.

Call taker put in a hazard on the bridge call-a buck in the roadway.

Now, we do have deer but not in the city....and not on the bridge. Usually. I had all sorts of officers who were free at that time jumping on the call while I tried to get some clarification.

The disappointment in those voices over the radio when I confirmed and told them it was a bucket was heartbreaking hahaha."

-u/boxofpeaches

Wait, you can't call 911 for this?

A rural house, exterior view
Unsplash | todd kent

"Some lady called me asking if we could have a unit "house-sit" for her while she went on vacation for a week. I told her we don't do that, she'd need to hire someone or ask family to help out.

She got all angry and huffed and puffed at me saying I don't understand anything. She simply wanted them to stay in her house, watch the dogs, and make sure no one tried to break in as an off-duty job.

I once again said we don't do off-duty work in civilian homes and she angrily hung up on me."

-u/No_Calligrapher_5789

Well, it is a great show.

Grey's Anatomy gif
Giphy |

"One night shift at like 3am I'm sitting at my desk when this woman frantically dragged her child in and was full on blubbering/crying because she has an inoperable brain tumour that needs to be confirmed and a miracle worker specialist need to be called in.

It was all just references to Grey's anatomy episodes. She was just showing me pics and videos on her phone from Grey's anatomy episodes because she woke up in the middle of the night with a headache and assumed that she needed miracle neurosurgery in the middle of the night."

-u/[user]

There's no way that caller didn't get the reference.

A 911 dispatcher at work
Wikimedia Commons | Riverside County Sheriff's Department

"One night she called in and since it was slow and always a good time those of us not doing anything clicked in on the line to listen. [This regular caller] was ranting and raving and the calltaker who had her was one of the sweetest nicest people you ever wanted to meet. Eventually she asks where she lives and the woman replied with, 'I live on Sesame Street' and without missing a beat the calltaker responded 'Well ma'am can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street?' We all collectively lost it thank God for noise canceling mics lol."

-u/bigred49342

Honestly, I might do the same.

Chickens in a field with one looking directly at the camera
Unsplash | Finn Mund

"When I was dispatching for the police, there was this one time where this guy called in and said that he was being chased by a chicken. I tried my best to keep a straight face, but I was laughing so hard on the inside."

-u/BeginningInfluence55

I had no idea 911 dispatchers dealt with so many poultry emergencies.

A large turkey
Unsplash | Meelika Marzzarella

"My sisters story:

Teenager attempted to get police because there was a 'monster chicken' walking around behind a gate at someones house. Turns out he didn't know what turkeys looked like."

-u/moosesanddave

Oh, so misuse of 911 is a crime but park bench occupancy isn't?

An empty park bench
Unsplash | Metin Ozer

"A woman called 911 demanding that a man sitting on her favorite park bench be removed by the police. She was told misuse of 911 is a crime, but she called back two more times. Not sure whatever became of her, but I would imagine she got a big fine."

-u/drygnfyre

There are emergencies, and then there's this.

An ice container behind a building
Unsplash | Adrian Hernandez

"Got a call by one of the managers at a bowling alley complaining that their ice machine was broken and it’s a really busy night and how if someone doesn’t come out to fix it, there will be no cold drinks."

-u/blue_13