Dispatch HiJinks

There are times in dispatch when you just have to take the opportunity to have a bit of fun with the officers. A little hijinks can make even the slowest moving night go by so much faster (if only for an hour). One night shift, during National Telecommunicators Week, we did just that with a perfectly hatched plan.

At our center, we were having an open house and had invited our officers to come in for a visit. That night, I was tasked with taking the officers on tours and answering any questions.  At one point, I had three of them come up for a visit. As I was showing them around, we swapped stories about some of the different hijinks that dispatch has played on them and vice versa. Then one of them stated that they were having a BBQ for their watch Sergeant, who was transferring to another unit and we should convince him that his truck had been stolen.

Of course, I was all for pulling off another prank and we started to hatch the plan. It was decided that we should go over the radio to dispatch a stolen vehicle file. This file would have details that the vehicle was believed to be stolen due to a broken window, erratic driving, that it had struck parked vehicles and was seen heading northbound at a high rate of speed. We decided that this was perfect and to wait until most of the other officers were back at the office for the BBQ.

After seeing our visitors out, I went back into the comm. center. Then I shared that the officers and I had come up with a plan to prank the watch Sergeant. After receiving permission from the supervisor, I asked my dispatch partner if she would like to have the honors. She laughed and said that she would like too.

As the BBQ approached, one of the officer’s called to let us know that it was almost time. He also confirmed for us, the make, model and license plate of the “stolen” truck. When nearly the whole watch was in the office, the dispatch went out. My partner executed a flawless description of the vehicle, the license plate, description of driving pattern and direction of travel. She even butchered the pronunciation of the Sergeant’s name for good measure. Upon hearing the details, you could hear the Sergeant ask the dispatcher to repeat the license plate. When it was confirmed, he apparently jumped up and headed for the door. However he quickly realized that none of the others were following him, as they continued to sit nonchalantly eating their burgers.

Good times were had by all…except the Sergeant.

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What not do….When You’re High

Now it goes without saying that some of the most strange calls can come from people who are intoxicated, or high. When we receive these types of calls, we will send help to them, but at times they do provide a little “comic relief” to the shift. The following story is one of those calls…

One night shift, my partner took a call on 911, from a male who started the call with “I’m high on drugs.” My partner not sure that she heard correctly, asked “Who’s high on drugs?” To which the caller replied, “I am…”

Once my partner confirmed what she had heard was in fact correct, she then asked the caller, “Do you need an ambulance?”  and “What kind of drugs are you on?” The caller, likely realizing that he was basically incriminating himself said, “Oh, I think I better call a lawyer before I tell you that.” Before my partner could ask anything else, he proceeded to say “Never mind, I’m OK, I’m just drunk.” Then promptly disconnected the line.

Due to the nature of the call and likelihood that it did in fact involve drugs, my partner created a file to dispatch to an officer. Since she did not have many details, besides the strange exchange between the caller and herself, she sent it out as an unknown assist with the little info that she did have.

Of course we had a good chuckle over this call and if this were the end, it is a great story. However, there is more…

Not long after the initial call, the PSAP took another 911 call from the same number. The male caller was on the line wanting to know our “Opinion of the war on drugs,” then stated the he “Wants to go to war.” This time the caller disconnected prior to the PSAP transferring to us. So, as per our standard operating procedures, another one of our call-taking partners attempted a callback to the number. All she received was a voicemail message that said, “Many blessings, have a wonderful day!”

When the officers attended, they did indeed find the caller; Fortunately, he wasn’t violent and was not danger to the officers, or himself. However, he was very high, disoriented & discombobulated. So, the officers gave him a helping hand out to the ambulance that they had called for him.

Let this be a lesson kids….”Just say, ‘NO’ to drugs!!”

What not to do when you're high