In the last year we have heard countless stories on the news about people who call 911 for the most ridiculous reasons. There have been people who have called 911 from fast food restaurants because they felt they were cheated out of very small amounts of money or didn�t recieve the food items they claimed that they ordered. People have called 911 to find out what time resturaunts, malls, grocery stores, movie theaters etc close. There was also a woman who called 911 because she wanted to see a cop whom she met on a previous call and she wanted to see him again because she wanted to get a date with him. The 911 system IS NOT A DATING SERVICE!! There are also children and teenagers who make prank calls to 911 just for fun, when they are bored. All of these scenarios are NOT emergencies. When people make frivolous or prank calls to 911, it monopolizes the precious time and resources of dispatchers, police officers, firefighters and
The times that one really should call 911 are real life threatening situations. They include such things like medical emergencies, like chest pains, difficulty breathing, bleeding that can not be stopped within about ten minutes, and injuries that would prevent one from getting to a hospital on one�s own. Police emergencies would include, but are not limited to seeing a crime in progress, seeing a known wanted fugitive, or having the police check your home if you return to find your door open and are unsure whether to enter on your own.
Emergencies needing more than one service would include, but are not limited to motor vehicle collisions, fire, explosions, personal welfare checks on someone you know and can not contact by telephone of any other means of communication and you believe he may be in danger etc.
Bottom line, use common sense when determining when to call 911. If it is a life threatening situation call 911. Otherwise, think about how you would look to police officers and other emergency personnel if you called 911 for a very frivolous reason. Also think about how you would feel if you need 911, yourself or for a family member for a life threatening situation and emergency resources were tied up elsewhere for a frivolous call and could not get to you in time. Think first and only call 911 for emergencies and teach your children to do the same.