Sunday, September 14, 2008

This is 911, how can we help you?

My sister, Kouf, had us over for dinner one evening. My sisters, Bouf and Shouf, joined us. My son had recently started kindergarten, and was learning lots of new and fun things.

Kouf and Bouf both had teenage daughters at that point, but neither of them was there that night, for whatever reasons.

After we finished a wonderful meal, Kouf suggested my son would have more fun in the childproof room upstairs. She adored her nephew and had a chair set up for him in front of a television with a vcr playing Disney movies. This was also the room outside of her teenage daughter's room, there were t.v. trays and a phone and games and books, mostly on built in shelves. This was a really cool room.

Anyway, the sisters were downstairs chatting and singing, and maybe drinking, and generally having a good time when the phone rang. Kouf turned down the music and answered, and immediately gave us the blow-by-blow. "What, this the State Police?" Our dinners immediately came up in our throats thinking about her daughter.

The next words we heard our sister say were, "No, no one called 911 from this line.". "Oh, okay, I understand.". Apparently, someone had learned about the importance of 911 in his kindergarten class and decided to test the system. And called and hung up on 911 FOUR times. Their policy is that if they get a 911 call, even if they call back and receive a response that they are not needed, they have to send a police officer over to check things out in case a hostage is trying to send them a signal. A hostage could very well be trying to signal 911, but when they call back, someone could have a gun to their head telling them to say that everything is all right.

When I heard that there was a state police officer on his way to my sister's house, I WAS PISSED. I yelled up First Name, Middle Name of my son, Get Your Butt Down Here and Put Your Shoes On, Because You and I are Meeting That Police Officer Outside and Explaining Why We Wasted His Time.

Luckily, the police officer in question was unbelievably understanding. He explained to my son that now he knew if he ever had to call 911 that they would always be there for him. He didn't give my kid a hard time about a false call, but did try to explain that he shouldn't use 911 if he didn't really need to. I was so impressed by the way this particular officer dealt with my kid, when he really didn't even need to be nice.

Needless to say, my son has not ever needed to call 911, again.


Anonymous said...

I accidently dialed 911 a couple moths ago..I really thought I caught it before it went through..I was trying to call my husband from work.. 9 9 1 were the first three digits to call out of my office... The SOB showed up and was SO ignorant..

when I was your sons age..I ran up a $200 long distance bill prank calling.

Memarie Lane said...

Awww good thing you got a good officer. I think they ought to be more sensitive to situations like that, especially as much as they drill that stuff into them at school and such. And there've been so many stories about real 911 calls from kids not being taken seriously too, so maybe they're starting to be a bit more careful with such things.

JoJo said...

Ooopsy.....Glad you got a kind, understanding officer. BUt I think, considering your son's age and willingness to meet the officer outside, any cop would have been kind, considering your son's age.

My husband accidentally called 911 instead of 411 the other day and asked for the phone number of a business. The 911 operator made him assure them that he was OK and had dialed by mistake, but he could tell they were NOT amused.

Robyn said...

When my son was 2 1/2, he loved to play with the phone. He had gotten ahold of it one night and was playing with it, so we took it, disconnected the line and let him have it back because I was making dinner and needed him entertained (we've all been there, yes?).

The doorbell rings. It's a state trooper, sent to our house because a 911 call had been placed and when they tried to call the line back, there was no answer (because by then we had disconnected). As soon as the policeman saw our son waddle down the hallway with the disconnected phone in his hands, he gave an understanding "Have a good night, folks. Don't let him do that again." and he was gone.

chaos37 said...

God, I'd forgotten about that, that was so funny and yeah, that cop was super cool. didn't he mention he has kid[s] too? Those were better days, when J was little and loved to go to Auntie's house...