What’s an emergency management department to do when 9-1-1 calls are spiking, but there aren’t enough workers to cover all those calls? San Francisco turned to researchers in an effort to understand a recent surge in emergency calls, which has been putting a strain on its emergency resources, and found that butts are to blame. Specifically, when someone’s backside accidentally makes a 9-1-1 call.
Despite the plethora of services that are available these days at the touch of a button, there are still those who seem determined to stick with calling 9-1-1 — even when there’s no actual emergency. Police in Pennsylvania say a man who called complaining of chest pains was fit as a fiddle, and actually just needed help fixing his air conditioning.
How important is it that telephone companies provide constant access to 9-1-1 service? Americans make an average of more than 27,000 of these emergency calls an hour, so when a nationwide wireless provider is unable to connect its users to 9-1-1 for even a few hours, they can be on the hook for millions of dollars. [More]
A woman who police say was being held hostage by her knife-wielding boyfriend, along with her three children, used the only method of communication she had available to ask for help: She added “911hostage help!” and “Please Help. Get 911 to me” to her online Pizza Hut order.
Will calling emergency services repeatedly about a bar bill summon the cops? Sure, but they won’t be helping to sort out whether or not you were overcharged for a beer, they’ll be charging you with abusing the 9-1-1 system, an offense that can bring up to a year in jail and a fine that is the equivalent of many, many beers.
It must have been very unnerving for a man in Georgia when he noticed that two tough-looking men were following him around as he left Walmart. They caught up with him, claiming to be security guards from the store, and brought him back to Walmart. Police say that the suspect thought they were “thugs” and pulled a knife on the men, then called 9-1-1. [More]
Who do you turn to when some stranger is harassing you, refusing to leave you alone? The police, of course. But perhaps not, if the reason this person won’t stop bothering you is that you happened to steal his phone just moments before. Ah, life lessons. [More]
Maybe we need to stop writing about the instances where you are not supposed to call emergency services, and instead we should make a list of the times when you are supposed to dial 9-1-1. For example, if you are in imminent danger. If your house is on fire. If someone nearby is having a life-threatening health problem. When you should not dial 9-1-1: Facebook is down. [More]
Some nights, I dream of a time when there won’t be any ridiculous calls to 9-1-1 reporting all the various non-emergencies we’ve reported on in the past. It’s a good thing I’m an optimistic person who loves to sleep a lot, because I might be dreaming for a while. I’m talking to you, guy who allegedly called 9-1-1 repeatedly because his wife threw his beer out. [More]
Depending where you live, you’ll now be able to text 9-1-1 from your cellphone if you for some reason you can’t make that emergency phone call when you need it. The program is rolling out in certain areas now, with expansion to the rest of the country planned by the end of the year. [More]
Listen, I’m not going to get into whether or not you should be calling anyone for a substance that is illegal by federal law. Live your own life, Cousin Dusty used to say as he rode off into the sunset on his cool motorcycle. But don’t call 9-1-1 asking where you can buy some marijuana, because that is not an emergency. And again, federal law, crime, etc. [More]
If a restaurant makes your pizza–or, in the case of Subway, your Flatizza–incorrectly, you’re entitled to a refund. You should not, however, try to enlist the help of local law enforcement by calling 9-1-1 to report a crime against pizza. When a South Carolina woman did exactly that last week, she was sent to jail and released on bond, charged with misuse of the 9-1-1 system. [More]
When you might be in trouble, it’s good to get ahead of the story. We’re not sure whether that’s what led a woman in Tampa, Florida to contact the authorities when a restaurant allegedly served her an uncooked waffle. Did she call the health department, or the Board of Breakfast Foods (which should be a thing)? Nope. She dialed 9-1-1. [More]
If you were to pick up the phone in a hotel room and dial 9-1-1, what would you get? You probably wouldn’t be in the state of mind to dial 9 first, but that shouldn’t stop you from getting in contact with emergency services as fast as possible, which is why one member of the Federal Communications Commission is looking into how it works at different hotel chains across the country. [More]
Beer is one of the major Consumerist food groups, along with tacos, cheese, and bacon. It’s very important and nice to have around. That doesn’t mean, however, that you should dial up emergency services to report that your granddaughter won’t buy you beer, as one Tennessee woman allegedly did. [Associated Press]
Sometimes you just need a lift to the Apple Store. Borrowing a wheelchair from the mall, then calling emergency services and demanding that security officers push you there is not how we recommend that you get there. [More]