News & Politics

Calling 911: New Yorkers Are Doing It Wrong


911 calls: It seems we may be a bit confused as to what they’re about. In Chicago a woman called 911 when her husband butt-dialed her and she thought he’d been taken hostage; another woman dialed 911 to try to get her boyfriend to propose. In Florida a woman dialed 911 (several times) when her manicure didn’t come out the way she wanted. And in New York we are doing it wrong, too.

The New York Post rounds up the ridiculous calls put in to 911 during the blizzard and its aftermath. Among them:

  • A guy in Brooklyn claimed he was having trouble breathing, but he really just wanted an ambulance to take him to his methadone clinic.
  • Brooklyn parents called 911 about their “sick kid” — they really just wanted someone to get him to do his homework.
  • A guy in the Bronx called with stomach problems after eating a pizza with the works.
  • A Brooklyn mom called about her daughter’s cut lip.
  • Another caller stubbed his toe and told EMTs ‘it’s been hurting for over an hour.’
  • Yet another Brooklyn caller could only breathe out of one nostril!

This is not good for our street-cred, folks. A friendly reminder: 911 is not your therapist, nor your taxi service, nor your mom. has this question you should ask yourself when in doubt:

When should you call 911?
When there is an emergency, lives are in danger, serious injury, serious medical condition, crime in progress, or any other situation needing immediate attention

Please, use [good] discretion. If you just want to complain about something, call 311. Or email us!

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 10, 2011

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