911, What is Your Emergency?

In my time as a mom, and up until last night, I had only ever had to dial 911 twice.

The first time was when Jace was a baby. He had severe reflux and stopped breathing. He was blue. I had never been so scared in my life. The 911 operator calmly and quickly gave me instructions on what to do, and sent the ambulance. Everything turned out just fine.

The second time was to report a wildfire on a mountain down here in Towns County. Of course, 50 other people had called in at the same time, so the operator informed me that crews were on their way and everything was under control.

Last night marked the third time I have ever dialed 911, and it’s one phone call I will never forget.

Hubby and I went on a date last night. Nothing big or special – we just window shopped and dreamed about buying all the things we could never afford. It was really, really nice just to get out. We drove through the ATM to check our balance and make sure we could get a small bite to eat. After leaving the bank, we headed down a side street back to the main road. At the end of the side street is the entry to a KFC, and it was there that a guy in a beat up pickup truck with a trailer attached to the back pulled right out in front of us. Hubby was able to stop in time, and we were fine. The guy proceeded to then pull out onto the main road at top speed and drop his trailer – right in front of an SUV. Again, I have no idea how, but no one was hurt. The guy in the pickup truck continued to drive off.

It just so happened that a man from our church was pulling onto the side street that Hubby and I were pulling off of, so he and Gene pulled their cars off into the gas station parking lot and decided they would pull the trailer off the road and out of the way so no one would hit it.

As they were moving the trailer, the driver of the pickup truck came back. Words were exchanged, {I have no idea what the words were, although I know they were not very pleasant words}, and eventually Gene came back to the car. As soon as he got in, he told me that I needed to call 911. That guy was too drunk to be on the road. Gene said you could smell the alcohol breath.

I pick up my cell phone and dial 911. It rings twice, and then I hear, “Hello?”

I respond with, “Umm… is this 911?”

She replies, “Yeah.”

Dumbfounded at her rudeness, I proceed, “I need to report that there is a man…”

Cut off by the operator, I hear, “What is your name?”

“Angela Vinez.”

“What? Amber?”

“AN – GEL – A. Although I’m not sure why you need that right this second, I’m trying to report an emergency!” At this point, I’m yelling. This guy is about to get his trailer hitched back on his truck and drive off, endangering the lives of everyone else on the road.

“We ask everyone that calls in what their name is…. Blah, blah, blah.”

I kept trying to interrupt her to tell her about the guy that is too drunk to be on the road, but she doesn’t care. She starts yelling at ME, telling me not to tell her how to do her job.

Oh.My.Gosh.

I then told her that I was glad this wasn’t a life-threatening emergency, because I – or someone else – would probably already be dead.

After she yells at me a little while longer, I’m finally able to tell her my reason for calling.

Her response? “Well, someone already called about the trailer. The cops are coming.”

“Can you please have the cops make sure that this man is not allowed back on the road?”

“They’re the cops, they’ll decide what is best.”

And then she HUNG UP on me.

I was livid. I wanted nothing more than to call back and chew her out, but I decided to just call my best friend and vent to her instead. I could not believe the audacity of that 911 operator. She was less than professional, and I have to wonder how many people in Union County Georgia have died because they couldn’t get past the “What’s your name?” part of the 911 call.

Gene and I sat and watched as the cops came, helped the man hitch his trailer back to his truck, and then drive off. I was horrified. No breathalizer test, no “walk the line” – nothing. They just let this man drive off. So much for my 911 call.So much for the safety of all the other drivers on the road.

Before we drove off, Gene and I prayed right there in the car – for the man in the pickup truck and for everyone else around him on the roads that night. We prayed that he would arrive to his destination quickly and safely and that no one would be harmed during his trip. {And, yes, I confessed my sin of yelling at the operator. I should have had a better attitude.}

I have never, ever experienced anything like that phone call last night, nor would I ever care to again. Maybe I just got an operator that was having a bad night, but from other experiences I’ve heard from families that live in the area, that phone call was nothing out of the ordinary.

I’m praying that the Lord places a hedge of protection around my family and I don’t need to call 911 again for a very long time.

There’s my most interesting Date Night story…. What’s yours?

Angie Vinez (2893 Posts)

Angie is a wife and mother to 8. Her life revolves around cooking, cleaning, laundry, and other household duties. She is passionate about her life in Christ and wants to encourage other mothers in their own walk of faith. Angie is active on many social media networks, loves technology, photography, and graphic design, and loves creating blog designs for other mom bloggers.



Comments

  1. 1

    I’ve had to call 911 a couple of times. I can’t believe that operator. I think you should call and report her. I’m not one for doing that usually, but she’s a 911 operator. She has people’s lives in her hands. I’d look at it this way, you’ll be saving someones life because eventually someone in a life threatening situation WILL get her.
    Ericka T recently posted..Bragworthy Grocery Shopping

    • 2

      I wish I knew *how* to report her. I definitely need to look into this. The call is most likely recorded, so they should have some record of her incompetence.

  2. 3

    I’d find the non emergency police number and ask them.
    Ericka T recently posted..Bragworthy Grocery Shopping

  3. 5

    WOW!, I cannot believe she actually acted that way! I would definitely call someone and complain. It sounds like she was very unprofessional.
    Malissa recently posted..A tiring day for mommy.

  4. 7

    trust me what she said was NOT standard and I’m pretty sure NOT part of their training. you need to complain to the sheriffs ofc, if it was their 911, as she could be a problem child, and they need citizen complaints to get rid of her. if not, complain they need better training- the nationalized standard for answering 911 IS “what is your emergency?” FIRST and foremost. Name and phone number is secondary to WHAT the emergency is and WHERE it is.

    i am sorry you got a bad operator- like any other job, there are bad apples and due to political/civil service protection administrators have a hard time getting rid of them.

    • 8

      That’s good to know information. I hope they can get this resolved soon, because I can’t imagine what would have happened if it had been a life-threatening emergency. Scary!

  5. 9

    That operator is ridiculous. You should definitely call to report her. I have called 911 a number of times to report similar problems. I have never been treated like she treated you.
    Heather Johnson recently posted..A Farmall Tractor: One of My Favorite Christmas Tree Ornaments

  6. 10

    I agree with the above comments. I have had to call 911 several times for emergencies and never have I had to deal with that kind of incompetence. As stated before “What is your emergency?” should have been the first question. I have a good friend who was a 911 operator for years and my husband is an EMT who responds to those emergency calls so I am familiar with the professional responses. And the response you got was definitely not professional!
    Rose @ Walnut Acre recently posted..Morning Musing Over Coffee – Conspiracy of Love

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