The Internet at the Speed of Thought

People Who Called 911 for the Most Ridiculous Reasons

at 1:16 pm | By

What's your emergency?

Hopefully you’ve never had to dial 9-1-1.

Since it was introduced to the United States in 1968, 911 has been the easy-to-remember, easy-to-dial phone number that could be used nationwide for reporting emergencies.

Though it feels ubiquitous today, 911 didn’t gain popularity until the 1970s, and many towns and counties, even cities, didn’t have a functioning 911 service well into the ’80s. While 911 only works in about 98% of the United States today, the three digits are intrinsically associated with emergency, and the number has become so ingrained in society that some young people today believe the number was created after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

And yet not everyone takes 911 seriously, even to the point of dialing 911 for a prank call, which can result in criminal prosecution. Still, the definition of an “emergency” remains ambiguous for many, and 911 operators have all had their fair share of cases that certainly didn’t merit police, fire, or medical attention.

911 operator at work


Here's why these people called 911...