General Question

AstroChuck's avatar

Have you ever had to call 911?

Asked by AstroChuck (37438points) April 28th, 2009 from iPhone

I have twice. Once, years ago when a young woman came to our door late at night and said two guys were pursuing her after an attempted rape. It took the cops nearly an hour to come out. The other time was last year when I witnessed a guy on a motorcycle fly off his bike after striking the side of a car on the freeway (luckily he just got banged up a bit).
How about you? Did things work out alright?

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41 Answers

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Once. For drunken domestic violence. I lost some friends for a while.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Once when a friend suddenly passed out, stopped breathing and was totally unresponsive. He came to shortly after the call was made but it was a moment of stark reality.

omfgTALIjustIMDu's avatar

Once when I was standing in my kitchen in the afternoon making dinner and my dad was outside getting groceries from his car to bring in. Our dogs started barking like crazy, but then I realized our dogs were right behind me and were perfectly silent. It took me a moment to realize it was my dad screaming for help and I immediately grabbed the phone and called 911. He was held up at gunpoint, and the police came within 3 or 4 minutes. My dad ended up being key in finding the guy and putting him back (yes, he had just gotten out of prison 2 days before) in jail.

nikipedia's avatar

I had been living in San Francisco for about three weeks. Everyone told me not to live in the Tenderloin. I thought I knew better. I was wrong.

I was walking home up Jones Street with takeout at about 10pm. As I opened the gate to my lobby, a guy yelled behind me, “Hey, hang on!” Instinctively, I held the door for him.

We chatted for a second in the lobby before he casually asked for my purse. I laughed. He repeated, “Give me your fucking purse.” So I gave him my purse. “Now your phone.”

I looked at him for a second, changed my mind, and ran like hell up the stairs. As soon as I started to move, he took off. I called 911 as I was still running. The cops were there in five minutes flat. Five minutes later, they got a call saying they thought they had the suspect.

It was him.

The police took me down to the station to give my statement. When they dropped me off at home, a prostitute was crazily ringing my buzzer over and over. She saw me getting out of the car, and said, “ARE YOU NICOLE?”

I nodded.

“GIRL!” she said. “I got your bag!!!!!”

She was right.

crisw's avatar

Once when we saw a rollover accident (the woman survived but it was a lot of work for the rescuers to get her out!). Once when we had a live rattlesnake in our house and didn’t have the tools to remove it from its hiding place.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Only when i got in my car accident.

skfinkel's avatar

Long ago, just after we moved into our new little first house, I thought I smelled something burning. Couldn’t find anything, nothing felt hot. I called 911, and told them not to bring over fire engines or anything, just one person who could help us figure this out. Immediately, two ladder fire engines were outside the house, huge lights outside, big booted firemen stomping around looking, smelling for the burning thing. No one could find it. No one but me could even smell it.

The next morning, emptying my new dishwasher, I found a melted pacifier.

I guess you could call me rather fortunate that that’s been all I’ve needed as far as 911 goes.

Jeruba's avatar

No, thank goodness.

2late2be's avatar

I did once, but it wasn’t necesary I think, my baby was 2 month old and got a cold, he was choking and I got scared, so I called them only for them to tell me that my baby was healthier than my husband and I, which was good to know.

augustlan's avatar

I’m starting to think I’ve led a rather (too) interesting life… I’ve called many times!

Once when a man was attempting to break into our apartment in the middle of the night – I was 13 or 14 years old, wearing nothing but a shorty baby-doll nightgown and interrupted him. He was caught within minutes, but lived right next door to me so I was too afraid to identify him.

Two doors away, I called when a fully naked man was pounding on the door at the apartment where I was baby sitting with a friend. He was caught outside, still naked. He lived right across the courtyard. It was a bad neighborhood. On the plus side, that meant there were always cops in the area already… short response times.

Most terrifying: When my 4 year old (at the time) daughter was choking on a Lifesaver’s Creamsaver hard candy. I was on my knees, doing the Heimlich maneuver to no avail and calling 911 at the same time. Half of the candy popped out while I was still on the phone, but she still couldn’t breathe. Just before the Advanced Life Support Unit arrived, the other half popped out (along with everything else she’d eaten for lunch.) Thank God, she was fine.

There have been other times, reporting car accidents and such, but those 3 stand out.

Dansedescygnes's avatar

No, but my parents called 911 once a couple years ago when there was some guy creeping around in our yard at night. Turns out he was just a wandering harmless vagrant. But still. Luckily, nothing like that has ever happened again and our house has never been broken into.

hug_of_war's avatar

When my little sister had her first seizure

TitsMcGhee's avatar

Earlier this year, I witnessed a murder from my 6th floor apartment and called 911. I was nearly frozen in place, I was so scared.

YARNLADY's avatar

When my son slipped and fell off the pool slide
When my pregnant DIL had a severe chest/stomach pain (gall stones)
When a visitor had severe chest pain (acid reflux)
When a drunken neighbor passed out in the yard looked dead

electricsky's avatar

No, but I have a very interesting story about not-calling 911.

When I was about 8, my mom and I were in her bedroom watching Whose Line Is It Anyway? (damn I miss that show) and I was eating grapes. Our pet pig was sitting on the bed eating a bowl of leftover macaroni and cheese. My mother was hooked up to an IV, treating a disease she had. I swallowed a grape, whole. I began choking. My mom tried to give me the Heimlich maneuver, but to no avail. Just as my mom was leaving the room to get the phone and call 911, the grape went down and I could breathe.
Later my mom said to me, “Imagine if an ambulance had come, and there you are, passed out on the floor because you choked on a damn grape, I’m sitting there hysterical and hooked up to a random IV, Whose Line is on the TV, and there’s a pig sitting on the bed eating macaroni and cheese.”
What a scene that would have been. :)

oratio's avatar

Working as a bartender for a couple of years I made some calls in the beginning. Stopped in the end, cause the response time was never less than half an hour. The times people drew a knife or became violent I knew I had to deal with it myself. I managed and learned a lot of lessons along the way, but I had enough in the end. People have little faith in the justice system these days, and I can’t blame them.

cak's avatar

Evidently, too many times.

1. My grandfather had passed out (drunk) and hit his head on the side of the counter on his way down.
2. My grandmother (drunk…probably pills, too) couldn’t stop vomiting, I was 11, that’s the only thing I knew to do.
3. I saw something or someone moving around in the backyard (I was 14, my sister was 16 and my parents were at a party) I called 911 when my sister didn’t hear me call for her. She appeared to be asleep; however, come to find out, it was two of her friends that were trying to sneak in…she wasn’t asleep and got in a lot of trouble when my parents came home.
4. I witnessed a bad car accident.
5. I witnessed a car running into my mother’s car, as she came to pick me up to take me to an OB/GYN appointment. I was on bedrest, my husband was working. Our neighbor (who had recently taken Ambien, drank a beer, took two Xanax) was rounding the corner…falling asleep. She sideswiped my mom’s car.
6. When we lived in the apartment, just before moving into our house, we called for what sounded like domestic violence.

alive's avatar

My friend called on a domestic violence concern and like you chuck, they didn’t show for god knows how long… hours.

a more interesting story:
when i was 19 i had to call because my brilliant roommate thought it would be a good idea to ride her bike down the side of a GIANT hill. She flipped, smacked her head, and got a concussion. She was only out for about a minute and she woke up very disoriented. I called 911 and tried to explain to her that she had just hit her head and the ambulance was coming to help her.

She was very confused and the funny part is that she told me she didn’t want to go to the hospital if she had been drinking! she thought her disorientation was from being drunk (and we were both underage at the time), she didn’t remember the bike ride or hitting her head.

all is well now, though sometimes when she says something weird we blame it on the head injury!

asmonet's avatar

A few times, only once for myself.
I’ve called to report illegal activity, a gang meeting that was clearly gearing up for a fight, and once for a domestic violence issue with a neighbor.

The only time I called for myself was after I was mugged at gunpoint when I was 18.

I feel incredibly fortunate to live in my county, the response time is always under ten minutes and it rarely reaches anywhere near that.

Triiiple's avatar

I never have.

My friend from upstairs just called yesterday after he started a big grease fire.

MrItty's avatar


Once when I was the manager at McDonald’s (I was about 17) and a kid fell in the play area and knocked himself unconscious. I was shocked and appalled that it took the 9–1-1 operator about 6 rings to pick up.

Once about 3 years ago, returning from an evening of skiing, my friends and I passed a pickup truck that had hit a tree and turned over on its side. The guy inside was dazed and not at all with it, but also couldn’t get out. Middle of the night, middle of no where. 9–1-1 operator had to use the emergency GPS tracking thingy that celphones have to figure out where we were, because we couldn’t tell her.

OpryLeigh's avatar

No because I am in England, I have had to dial 999 which is our eqivelent to 911. It was to let the police know that there was a random drunk man tryng to walk on the motorway!

aprilsimnel's avatar

Once, when I was 6 (it wasn’t 911 in the mid-70s, one dialed 0 for the operator). Someone was trying to break into our house through my bedroom window.

@Leanne1986So the number hasn’t changed to 0118999881999119725…3?

oratio's avatar

@Leanne1986 You don’t call 112 like the rest of us?

OpryLeigh's avatar

@oratio 999 and 112 are pretty much the same thing, on that particular occassion I used 999!

kayysamm's avatar

Once, we were sitting on my friend porch int he middle of summer late at night. Across the street from her is this little beach called “the cove” with a type of parking lot. There was this white honda civic chilling there for a good two hours while we are all out there talking and listening to music. The guy got out of the car walked over to us asked how old we were. We said 16 ( at the time we were younger) and he asked if we did any drugs. We said no and he walked away.

Long story short, more and more cars kept pulling in the parking lot to see him and then they leave. It wasnt until one car oulled up and the mman in the car pulled out a gun to get his drugs. We called 911 and ended up the guy was runnning from the cops ( the one with the gun ). He thought that the guy he was meeting was a cop so he brought a gun. Both went to jail.

Hahaha, best part of the whole thing is that my aunt was on of the cops that came to the scene. :)

Darwin's avatar

My husband couldn’t breathe so I called 911. They took him to the hospital, where they determined he had congestive heart failure, loaded him up with Lasix and then sent him home.

My husband developed horrible chest pain and weakness so I called 911. They took him to the hospital, where he had a quintuple bypass.

In our old house, a drunken, young, teenage girl kept ringing our door bell at 3 in the morning, looking for more booze. We called 911 and the cops came in about 5 minutes, rounded her up and took her home.

I went outside one school day after my daughter should have gone to school and discovered my daughter’s car sitting in the driveway with the door wide open and the seat flipped forward and one of her textbooks lying on the ground. There were tire tracks in the driveway from a strange vehicle and no daughter. She didn’t answer her phone and her friends (who did answer their phones) didn’t know where she was, so I called 911. It turned out she had gotten a ride to school with a friend and “just forgot” to close her car door or tell me. The cop gave her a talking to once one of her friends found her and made her call me. She hasn’t done it since.

My father suddenly began to feel faint and became disoriented when we were in his favorite Chinese restaurant, so I called 911. They came and took him to the hospital where they determined he needed a pacemaker. He got one about a week later and now feels 10 years younger (74 instead of 84).

My son used to call 911 fairly often when he was little. Sometimes it was so he could see a police car and sometimes it was because he was trying to call his friend, whose number started with 991. After about the third time the cop gave him a good talking to and I grounded him for a week and took away his xbox and he stopped.

There have been other times, too, such as when my neighbors house exploded, a truck suddenly turned over in front of me, a friend and I found a dead guy when we were on the way to the airport, and a lady fell and broke her hip, and a second lady started giving birth, both in the museum where I worked.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Darwin I almost hated to lurve you, 7000 is such a beautiful number

cak's avatar

@Darwin – I lurve you – but it no longer raises your number.

YARNLADY's avatar

@cak the number didn’t change when I did it either, is there a delay, or does that mean we used up all our lurve points?

AstroChuck's avatar

After five GAs you can no longer get lurve points in that thread.

cak's avatar

@YARNLADY – I’ve maxed out on Darwin. I’m fairly certain I did it in a nanosecond.

aprilsimnel's avatar

@cakRight? Me too! @Darwin – Eeeee! A dead guy?! Yikes!

Darwin's avatar

Thanks for the lurve – it counts where it matters.

And my best friend was a P.I. and interesting and often exciting things always happened in her vicinity. Every time I went shopping with her she always nabbed at least one shoplifter.

This particular gentleman worked the night shift and we assume felt unwell on the way home. He apparently pulled off the road somewhere around 7 am, suffered a major heart attack and died, half in and half out of his truck. We came by about 9:30 am and we called it in. It was quite sad as he was only around 40 yo or so.

I am really surprised no one else stopped as it was fairly obvious that there was a problem. But no one else bothered to check things out, even though he was sprawled in a very unlikely position with the door of his truck open and the engine running.

Jeruba's avatar

@TitsMcGhee, you witnessed a murder? What a thing to have locked in your memory. Did you have to give testimony in court?

TitsMcGhee's avatar

@Jeruba: It was a pretty horrifying experience, especially because it happened across the street from my building. Surprisingly, after having called 911 and leaving my name and number, I haven’t had to even speak to the police. My oldest brother is a lawyer, and he told me that if they needed to speak with me, they would contact me, but I haven’t heard anything at all. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.

Darwin's avatar

@TitsMcGhee – If the guilty party pled no contest or accepted a deal from the prosecutor, there would be no trial and you would never be called as a witness.

OTOH, if they never caught the murderer they won’t have called you yet.

Charming thought, isn’t it?

TitsMcGhee's avatar

@Darwin: Exactly. They never even interviewed me about what I saw (which, in terms of detail, wasn’t much, seeing as I was watching from the 6th floor). But there is always that lingering question of if they will or not.

Krag's avatar

Once by mistake. I work in construction. One day on the job I grabbed the cordless phone and dialed our office. The reply was 911!!!!! I hung up. Seconds later the phone rang and They asked why I called 911. I told them who I was calling and what happen and they let it go at that. A few days later I went to use the phone. It was then that I realized what had happen. That day I was rushing to get out of work ,grabbed the phone and turned it on and dialed. What I found out was the phone took a second or two to turn on. It had missed the first part of the phone number and only cou.ght the last three 911.

pizzaman's avatar

I didn’t but once, in 5th grade I took a tour to the police station and the police called my friends mom to tell them to call 911 to show us kids what would happen.

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