Have you ever had to phone 999?

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#1

Tell us your (non-heartbreaking) anecdotes.

I have, only once. It was about two months ago before this pretty awesome summer we’ve been having. Was walking back from my local at 10ish or so in the pissing drizzle. It’s barely a 5 minute walk, but just round the corner within 50 yards of my house a 18-23 year-old block was flat on his back, out for the count, clearly come off his BMX.

A lady had got to him briefly before me, so while she was checking him over, I made the call. Very odd, sobers you right up. After a minute or so when I’d explained where we were and what we’d thought had happened (got pissed, skidded in rain, passed out), the lad sprung up, grabbed his bike and wobbled his way down the dip and out of sight despite us trying to keep him with us. Never got to see any blues and twos as they cancelled it.

YOUR TURN.

Preferably like cats stuck in trees, not grannies keeling over. xxx


#2

saw a car flip over behind us on the motorway. my dad ran to help so i made the call. then realised i didn’t know what motorway we were on and had no idea how to explain where we were. thankfully, someone who knew what they were doing had already called in.


#3

Under that kinda pressure, it’s so easy to completely forget where the hell you actually are. I was like… umm… well it’s almost near the junction of So&So Road and Whatever Avenue, but you need to come from the other end because of the roadworks and oh no hang on what’s my postcode, well the postcode for my house won’t be the same as here but we’re nearby and oh he’s ridden off anyway. Probably failed a citizen/mantest that night.


#4

this year I have called 999 for my mother about 20 - 30 times.

It never gets easier


#5

50+ times over the years. No stories though


#6

Yeah, someone called in a bomb threat to the building I was in. Turned out to be a hoax but I was still impressed by how calm everyone I spoke to was.


#7

Yes

twice

1st time - group mountain bike bike ride. My friends handle bars rotated round on a steepish bumpy descent meaning he couldn’t get to the brakes
He crashed pretty badly hitting his head. I rode down to the pub we were heading to to call 999 (no mobile signal)
When I walked in the pub all flustered I forgot I was decorated with tinsel (it was a Pre christmas ride)

2nd time was when I was just behind a big collision between a truck and a car. I cant remember if I actually got through or not - other people were calling too


#9

Once, after a lab explosion. The whole building shook pretty violently with the force of it. Big rumble, then the fire alarms triggering sequentially. You could feel the heat coming through the walls of the emergency staircase on the way out. At the bottom of the stairs I see a guy looking like a cartoon of a scientist who’d been in an explosion, so someone did their research there. I then did the very British thing of asking “Are you ok?”, to which he looked at me like the fucking idiot I am and said “…no.” So I called 999 while someone else took him to the emergency showers.

Difficult questions. How many injured? Dunno, a lab blew up, we’ve been evacuated. Anyone left inside? Dunno, a lab blew up, we’ve been evacuated etc.

Turns out there was someone still inside, but the place wasn’t on fire so they just waited it out. I think both those people had second degree burns, but nothing more serious.


Ever called 999?
Ever called 999?
#10

Once when I got Labyrinthitis and couldn’t stop retching.


#11

yep once.

one of my all time dogs was having a really serious diabetic seizure in his sleep and its a miracle that my other dog was awake at the time. I called 999 and freaked out at them because they kept asking questions about his state rather than confirming that an ambo was on the way.

he was revived at the house and was fine after.


#12

Once


#13

yeah.
then-boyfriend was making dinner and cut his finger - not badly enough to need medical attention, however i went upstairs to get something to put on it and heard him coughing oddly. came back down thinking “urgh he’s not been sick has he” - he hadn’t, but he was having some kind of fit and wasn’t responding. while i was calling for an ambulance he came round and seemed fine so i took him to a&e in a taxi instead (he was fine)


#14

My previous job was taking 999 calls for Ambulances, sadly I’m quite familiar with this. I’ve also made a few myself e.g. people beaten up on nights out, overdoses, colleagues taking ill at work.

Usually the calls I’ve made have all been along these lines apart from the following. Me and my ex woke up to hear banging on the door. We lived in a block of flats at the time, and didn’t really know any of the neighbours. We try to ignore the banging, but then we hear screaming as well and also a woman muttering “I’ll fucking kill him” but she was saying that at normal talking volume. She was speaking with a heavy asian accent, which made it a little hard for us to hear what was going on.

Next thing we hear is some bloke in the hallway shouting and what sounded like throwing her around/hitting her. So I get out of bed and start putting some clothes on. I’ve slept with a hammer next to my bed since I was a teenager so I grabbed that and took it with me. I was shitting myself and told my ex to stay in the bedroom.

By the time I actually get out of my flat all the shouting had stopped and it was proper quiet. There’s blood all over my door, with a couple of handprints too, and blood going all up the carpet past the other flats. After locking my flat door, (because I didn’t want anyone running in while my ex was in there) I went down the hallway and saw that the flat opposite ours had its door kicked in, and was hanging off the hinges. I poke my head round the corner and there’s two women (maybe early 20s?) who had been punched all over. Faces proper mangled. I tried to ask if the bloke was still there but they were just crying and didn’t say anything that made sense. I went back into my flat and called the police, they turned up within a minute or two thank fuck. The guy had left the block by then.

While giving my statement the police said the women claimed to have been robbed, but wouldn’t say what the robber took and that nothing was missing. The copper implied that they might have been into drugs/prostitution. Either way, they moved out the next morning, I washed the blood off my door/the hallway, and in the afternoon the landlord for their flat came round and fixed their door.


#15

Once had to call 999 because some scallies had managed to set fire to the school playing field while we were playing cricket on it. This was in the early-mid 90s so we had to go and knock on some random’s door to use their phone. Top drama.


#16

Just the once. Was about 11 or 12, and staying at a friend’s house for a few days. We’d been up all night on the Playstation when out of nowhere she suddenly turned red, started frothing at the mouth and keeled over. I had no idea what was happening. We were alone in the house. I called 999, was asked the address, but had no idea - had a brainwave and ran to the front door where the post was on the doormat, so I could tell them. Quite proud of that. They sent an ambulance, but asked if I could find any other help - went out of the front door, there was a neighbour and a guy getting out of a car, I told them what was going on, they didn’t do anything, which is pretty shitty in retrospect. Anyway, ambulance came pretty quick, just as her dad appeared, turned out she’d had her first ever epileptic fit. Took her to hospital. I had delayed shock basically spent the next 24 hours in bed not eating until my dad came to pick me up.


#17

Yeah, guy who was knocked out with a massive bump on his head. Saw him in a park while walking home. Took the ambulance over an hour to get there (literally ten minute walk to the hospital) and when they got there, he woke up and vomited the most ive ever seen anyone vomot


#18

Once when I had taken too many drugs and couldn’t handle my ex-housemate banging on my front door. That was silly and embarrassing.

Second time when I saw someone get knocked over on Kingsland Road after a Retrospectacular a few years back. Guy was out cold until the ambulance arrived and he got up and refused to be treated because he wanted to carry on drinking.


#19

I’ve had to call it twice. Once when I was attacked on the street by a homeless guy who was roaring his head off at me and other passersby asking for money. I legged it and called the Gardaí who told me that they’d already apprehended him by the time I got through. Efficient.

The other time was when an ex and I found a homeless guy passed out in the middle of the street when we were on the way to the shop one night. We got him in off the road but he wouldn’t wake up. We rang 999 a heap of times but they never picked up. Maybe the service was over capacity? Luckily we were near a Garda station so I ran to it but it wasn’t manned. No Gardaí!

We got the dude undercover in a doorway, went to the shops and kept trying 999. Still no answer. On the way back we went to check if he was still there and he was gone. I assume the Gardaí must have picked him up because there was no way he was moving under his own power.


#20

Once because my lung was collapsing while I was walking to university on my own. It had happened six months previously so I recognised the symptoms straight away. I sat down on the side of the road and they arrived within maybe 20 minutes and I was admitted and had an operation a few days later.

(edit: this wasn’t meant to be a reply to kg)


#21

Hahaha! I was wondering!