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We Hope That Emergency Wasn’t TOO Urgent

, , , , , , | Healthy | December 16, 2021

My neighbour was sitting watching his TV late in the evening when there was a very loud banging on his front door. Wondering who would be calling at this hour, he opened the door.

Standing there was a man wearing all the anti-[health crisis] gear; mask, scrubs, and a biohazard suit.

Man: “I’m [Man] from Social Services. We got your emergency call, and more help is on the way.”

My neighbour, not knowing what this was all about, looked at him blankly.

Man: “Come on! Let me in so I can start the treatment.”

My neighbour was still looking at him blankly.

Neighbour: “What are you talking about? I haven’t made an emergency call to anyone. No one here is sick. I don’t know who you are, so I’m not letting you in.”

The man was starting to get impatient.

Man: “We got an emergency call from here, [number] at [block of units].”

Neighbour: “You have the right number but the wrong complex. That block is down the road a bit further.”

Man: *Obviously shocked* “Oh, d***. I must have misread the number.”

He grabbed his phone and started talking quickly and loudly as he dashed off.

I hope he found the right person, but you would think that people doing that sort of job would have a better idea of where their clients live.

An Alarming Brush With Disaster

, , , , | Learning | December 13, 2021

This happened when I was a sophomore in high school, the fall of 2006. It was the passing time between the first hour and second hour. I was walking right next to the wall, sort of dragging my shoulder along it. I walked past the fire alarm and bumped into it. One step past it, the fire alarm went off. Everyone in the hallway froze and looked at each other, and then we very calmly walked out. 

As I walked outside the building, it dawned on me that I was the one who set the fire alarm off. I felt panicked and guilty. I knew that this was a big deal; setting off the alarm when there wasn’t really a fire could get you in legal trouble. I didn’t know who I should tell about this while outside, so I decided to wait and tell my second hour teacher when we got back inside. 

When we were allowed back in, I went straight to my second hour teacher. She was already talking to a student.

Student: “I saw the girl who pulled it. She totally did it on purpose.”

Me: *On the verge of tears* “Mrs. [Teacher], can I please talk to you in private?”

Teacher: “Yes, of course.”

We went into the hall.

Me: *Full-on crying* “I set off the fire alarm. I didn’t mean to do it; it was an accident! I bumped into it!”

Teacher: “It’s okay, [My Name]. It’ll be okay. But we need to go to the principal and tell him what happened.”

We walked to the principal’s office. We had to wait a little bit before we could come in. Once in, I explained the story to him, sobbing the entire time.

Principal: “Thank you for coming to me and being honest about what happened. One of the reasons you had to wait so long was because we were reviewing security footage. It clearly shows a student pulling the fire alarm. You are not in any trouble. Just so you know, you cannot set off the alarm by bumping into it. You have to pull the white lever.”

I felt so relieved knowing I hadn’t set off the alarm. My teacher gave me a few minutes to calm down before I had to go back to class. I’ve never brushed up a fire alarm again.

The Cop Car Needs An Ambulance And The Lieutenant Needs To Chill

, , , , , , , | Legal | November 19, 2021

I used to volunteer with my township’s all-volunteer first aid squad. For overnight calls from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am, we responded by pager from our homes. I had a quick five-minute drive to the squad building where I picked up an ambulance and a partner before heading to a call for help.

One morning at 3:00 am, my pager sounded with a call for CPR in progress. I drove quickly (but safely) to the squad building and then headed by ambulance with my partner to the home of the patient. There was an extra sense of urgency due to the nature of the call, but I drove safely and legally.

Upon arrival at the house, I noticed a police car parked on the street in front of the house; it was standard practice in the town for police to respond to every first aid call. My intention was to pull in front of the police car and park along the curb. I slowed and started the maneuver. All of a sudden, I heard a loud crunch and scraping and felt the ambulance rock. I had hit the police car!

I pulled up and parked. There was nothing to do about the accident right then. We had a patient to attend to. As we entered the house with our equipment, however, the police informed us that the patient had a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order so CPR had never actually been started. We had to wrap up some paperwork issues and were soon ready to leave. It was then that I approached the officer.

Me: “Hey, [Officer], I hate to have to tell you this. I hit your police car. I’m so sorry. It’s pretty bad.”

The officer and I went out to look. I had heavily damaged the front driver’s side of the vehicle. The tire was pointed perpendicular to the car and the fender was completely smashed in. The ambulance had a gouge down the back half of the passenger side. The scene was a mess.

Officer: “All right, accidents happen. I’ll call my lieutenant and we’ll make an accident report.”

Me: “I can’t believe I did this. I’m so very sorry. I’ve been a member of [Squad] for thirteen years. I’ve been driving for twenty-eight years and I’ve never been in an accident where I was at fault.”

The lieutenant on duty arrived and I explained what happened as best I could. To this day, I still don’t really know how I did it. Obviously, I was too close. But it didn’t seem that way to me as I was pulling in. It shook my confidence in driving. I was very embarrassed.

I was too shaken up to go to work that day, so I took the day off. Somewhere around mid-morning, my doorbell rang. It was the lieutenant.

Lieutenant: “Hi, [My Name]. I had to issue this ticket to you for careless driving. I’m required to do so for insurance purposes.”

Me: “No, you’re not. I’m a licensed insurance agent. I deal with claims all the time. There isn’t an insurance company in the state that requires a ticket to be issued in order to pay on a claim.”

Lieutenant: “Well, it’s been written. Here you go.”

I was angry. I knew the ticket involved points on my license and would cause my insurance premium to rise. I knew the lieutenant only by sight, as he didn’t answer first aid calls. He certainly didn’t know me, but he must have looked up my driving record and seen that I didn’t have any at-fault accidents and not even as much as a parking ticket in my life.

A few days later, at the scene of another first aid call, the responding sergeant approached me.

Sergeant: “Hey, [My Name], I heard about what happened. Did [Lieutenant] actually issue you a ticket for careless driving?”

Me: “Yes, he did.”

Sergeant: “That’s bulls***. The whole department is talking about it and we all agree. Do you have a court date?”

Me: “Yes, it’s scheduled for [date and time].”

Sergeant: “Great, I’m on duty that date. Here, take my cell number. When you go, speak to the district attorney. I know him. Tell him I want to talk to him.”

Me: “Thank you so much. I really appreciate this.”

On the day of court, I arrived and got in line to speak with the DA. I explained the circumstances of the accident. I also gave him [Sergeant]’s phone number and told him that [Sergeant] wanted to speak with him.

DA: “Wait a minute. Let me get this right. You were volunteering your time in the middle of the night for the first aid squad when this happened? And [Lieutenant] still issued you a ticket?”

Me: “Yes.”

DA: “How fast were you going at the time?”

Me: “Well, I was on a residential street and I was pulling in to park along the curb. I couldn’t have been going any faster than five miles per hour.”

DA: “Okay, here’s what we’re going to do. I don’t even need to speak with [Sergeant]. You don’t deserve a careless driving charge on your record. I’m lowering the charge to impeding the flow of traffic. It’s a no-point ticket and the fine is only [low amount] instead of [much higher amount]. And I’m going to talk to [Police Chief]. He’ll have a chat with [Lieutenant].”

Me: “Thank you so much!”

And so it was. I plead guilty to the lower charge and paid the small fine. I was an apprehensive driver for some time after that. Since I didn’t know exactly what I had done wrong in causing the accident, I didn’t know what it was that I should be doing differently. Luckily, it’s now ten years later, and I haven’t had any at-fault mishaps.

Literally Life-Threatening Levels Of Stupidity

, , , | Healthy | November 15, 2021

I work at a hospital switchboard. An emergency services dispatcher has put a caller through who is looking for a patient and insists that they are with us. We have just established that they are not at our hospital.

Me: “I’m sorry, he’s not at this hospital. You need to call back the dispatcher to find out.”

Client: “What’s their number?”

Me: “9-1—”

Client: “Wait! Wait! Let me get a pen. Okay, go.”

Me: “9-1-1.”

Client: “9… 1… 1… Okay. So, do I put my area code in front of that?”

Those Sure Are Some Hot Decorating Skills

, , , , , , , | Friendly | November 3, 2021

I’m sitting at home watching TV when I hear sirens approaching, and it sounds like they’ve stopped quite close to my house. Curious, I head outside and see fire engines stopped at the house two doors down. My next-door neighbor has also headed outside to look.

Me: “What happened?”

Neighbor: “Oh, the people in that house, they’re idiots! Do you know what they put in the backyard? A Gilligan hut!”

Me: “Gilligan hut?”

Neighbor: “A straw-roofed hut, like on Gilligan’s Island! And do you know what else they put in the backyard?”

Me: “What?”

Neighbor: “A fire pit! How did they think that was gonna go?”

The fire brigade’s presence certainly provided enough of a clue as to how it went.