I'm not sure what age is the appropriate time to teach your kids how to dial 911, but it's definitely an important lesson. The emergency line saves lives every day, so it's a good idea to let your kid know it's a number they can call if they're ever in an emergency or feel like they're in danger.
But the funny part comes when you learn what kinds of incidents your kid deems dire enough to involve the police. I shudder to think what kind of ruckuses I could have caused with NYPD in my brattier years, considering I tattled on my mother to my grandma at every chance I could.
911 operators came together on reddit to share the funniest kid emergencies they've ever been called to respond to. These stories are so hilarious, you might want to call up your spouse and figure out a new approach to teaching your kid about 911.
1. Officer, please arrest The Wiggles.
My parents taught me to call 911 when I saw somebody doing something illegal. I called the cops on The Wiggles movie I was watching when I was 5 because a clown stole a cake.
Luckily the 911 operator realized I was young, my story didn't make sense because it was a kids' movie, asked to talk to my mom before sending out cops.
2. 11-year-old reporting for duty, officer.
When I was 11, I once called the FBI because I felt I had information on a serial killer (I didn't, I just thought I did) when the FBI answered I got spoked and hung up.
The FBI called back, keep in mind it's 2 a..m. in the morning and my mom answered the phone, "Hello this Special Agent Kim with the FBI and I believe your son just called us"
That's not a call you want from the FBI at 2 a.m. about your 11-year-old son who last you saw was in his room going to sleep several hours ago. I sat in my room waiting for my parents to call for me...they did...they were not pleased that I had called the FBI without speaking to them first.
3. Wholesome emergency.
My mom was a 911 operator. When telling us about her new job, she was describing to my brother and I that she got a job at the place you call 911.
Next day mom's at work. My brother calls 911 just to tell mom about his day.
4. Steve is drowning!
My cousin called because she was giving her lizard a bath and it went down the drain. (It was like a tiny house gecko named Steve). She called 911 crying that Steve was drowning and had gone down the drain. By the time the dispatcher figured out Steve was a gecko the police and fire department were already pulling in.
She was like 6 or so and I still tease her about it.....I do feel bad for Steve though.
5. Toxic emergency!
My uncle is a dispatcher in my hometown. He always tells me this story of this 4-year-old who called 911 because his older brother farted on him.
The kid hung up the phone a short time after he explained what happened. My uncle said he was laughing too hard and had to wait a couple extra seconds before calling the number back.
The mother answered the phone and he had to explain what happened to her and to make sure everything was alright. The mother was mortified and apologized over and over, my uncle said it was a welcome moment of levity during a stressful holiday workweek.
6. Officer, he won't change the channel...
My brother called the police on me because I wouldn't let him watch The Simpsons when we were younger. Told them I was being mean to him. They called my parents back for a very interesting conversation.
It would have been approximately Season 7, but in my defense it was a re-run.
7. Where's the old man who fell?
My kid was 17 months old and impossible to tie down. While I was cooking dinner he went into the study and somehow dialed triple zero (emergency line in Australia). I think he was trying to talk to his Nanna, but panicked when a stranger’s voice came down the line instead.
I caught him and hung up the phone, not knowing he’d actually dialed anyone. Then I went back to cooking butter chicken for dinner. Fourteen minutes later, the police are on my doorstep.
They came in urgently, looking for “an old man who might have fallen down.” The emergency line operator had asked several questions, but the only response she had gotten was labored, heavy breathing that she thought was an old man too injured to speak. Luckily for us, it was just sneaky and confused toddler wheezing.
We figured it out and I brought my kid out to meet the policemen. One of them said, “Yeah, that’d be the perp. Look at the guilty look on his face.”
Funnily enough, my kid did have an expression of extreme chagrin. Possibly the first and last time he ever felt guilty for anything.
8. Gives a whole new meaning to the Hamburglar.
When we were younger and home alone, my sister called the police on my brother because they both wanted the same In-N-Out burger. We had four identical burgers, but they wanted the same one. The police came to our house and explained to us why we shouldn't call the police for no reason. Our mom came home in the middle of their lecture. She was not happy.
9. Arrest my mom, she's being boring!
When my brother and I were younger he called the cops because our mother was taking a nap and he was bored. They took it in stride and chatted for a bit before explaining why he shouldn't call them because he's bored.
I will never forget the mortified look on my mother's face as she came out of her bedroom and realized what he had done.
10. This officer picked up some valuable Fortnite tips.
My favorite call recently was from an 11-year-old kid who was walking home from school and got lost. He called 999 in a panic, so I told him to stay where he was until officers arrived. We didn't have officers available for about 30 minutes, so we just spent half an hour chatting about Fortnite.
I guess not exactly a funny call, but it was enjoyable!
11. This kid cracked under pressure.
I LOVE telling this story at work, so if any of my co-workers see this they will instantly know who it is, but oh well.
A couple of years back I got a call from a kid who was about 6 or 7, stating that his brother (who was about the same age) had hit him. This is more of a parental than a police matter, so I politely asked him if I could speak to a parent. "NO!" was his reply. I lowered my voice an octave and said "Let me talk to your mom or dad." Same reply from the kid. I went into semi-angry, but totally serious "ADULT" mode and firmly said, "Put one of your parents on the phone or I'm sending the police to 1234 Main Street" (he was calling from a landline so I had his address). He paused for a moment, and then I could hear him start vomiting in the background of the phone call out of fear.
Did wind up sending the police out to chat with the young man as I was never able to speak to a parent to verify that everything was OK — he received a lecture.
12. So insane it's kind of impressive.
Not an operator, but a responder. A few years back, one kid called 911 on his brother not letting him play XBox. My friend, the operator, put me in for a conference call. In the background I heard this guy shout, "HOLY #$*!# HE'S TAKING THE TRUCK"
Apparently, the parents made the kid get off the XBox, and go outside, so the kid did the logical thing. Steal the UPS truck parked across the street.
13. She should keep this going, but maybe take down the number for the direct line.
I had a little one call in to our center about 10 times, just so she could tells us that she loved us and appreciated us, and we are doing such a great job. Our center is pretty big, so she would get a different person almost every time.
However, if she got you more than once, she would say something like, 'Nonono, I already told you! I need to tell someone else. You're great, but they need to know they're great, too! Okay, I love you, bye!'
It was all from a disconnected cell, and we weren't really getting a great phase on her location, but she stopped after about an hour, so it wasn't super concerning. Made my day!
I hope she grows up and keeps that big heart of hers, we need more people like her in the world. (They don't necessarily need to call 911, but the point still stands lol).
14. What... kind of hole?
Happened not to me but to someone I know.
Kid in question must've been about 3 or 4. Mommy put him down for a nap and went out jogging. Daddy was outside doing yard work. Kid woke up early, looked for Mommy around the house but couldn't find her, so he called 911.
Kid: "I can't find Mommy anywhere!"
Operator: "Is your daddy around?"
Kid: "Yeah, but he's outside, digging a big hole."
Cops got there fast and didn't leave until Mommy got back from her run.
15. Nothing to see here, everything is absolutely fine.
Not a 911 operator, but my parents love to bring this story up so I thought I’d share. One morning when I was about 4 or 5, I called 911 to tell them that nobody in the house was dead.
They wanted to speak to my parents, and I kept insisting they didn’t need to because no one was dead. Eventually I hung up on them and they called back and got to speak to my parents, WHO WERE ALIVE AS PROMISED.
16. Oh, I should teach my kid how to do that.
Saw a clip on local news about a toddler saving her mom's life by calling 911 when she collapsed. Figured it was a good idea to teach my toddler 911. Had two cops at my door five minutes later.