A while back, I took a 911 call of a two vehicle collision. This call started out routinely enough, as I followed our SOP’s. The information gathering progressed quickly through the most important questions; “What is the location?”, “Are there injuries?”, “Are the vehicles blocking traffic?”, “Is anything leaking?”. Satisfied with answers to these questions, I continued on with the less vital information gathering.
When I finished with the caller’s info, I asked if I could speak with the other driver. The caller proceeded to tell me that the other driver had left, but had informed her that she would be right back. Finding this unusual, thinking that I was now dealing with a hit and run, I asked if she knew where the other caller had gone; I was not prepared for the answer that I received.
Apparently, the other driver told the caller that she had her fish with her in the vehicle and had to take it to the pet shop to get it checked out. Finding this obviously very strange, thinking that I had likely misheard, I asked her to repeat this and sure enough she repeated exactly what I thought she had said. Needless to say, in my eleven years of emergency dispatch, I have never heard an excuse like this and I thought that the caller had just had a fast one pulled on them.
As I was asking for clarification, the caller told me that other driver had come back. Since I was very curious, I decided that I definitely needed to speak with the other driver. When she took the phone, I asked if she did indeed have a fish and actually had to take it to the pet shop. To which she replied with a sigh, that she did have a fish her and that she had decided to take it back home to its tank instead. Resisting the urge to ask why she had a fish in her car, I simply asked if it was alright instead. With big a sigh of relief the driver said that she thought it would be.
Once I disconnected, I sent the file over to the dispatcher, with a chuckle and quick explanation. Later on, the dispatcher forwarded me a message from the officer concerning the fish that read: “The fish is going to make it!!!!!! Minor injuries, mostly shock from the accident, expected to make a full recovery and live a long healthy life….well, as long as fish live before they take their final porcelain journey.”