Don't Call 911 for Cigarettes or Any of These 5 Really Stupid Reasons

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cigarettesHow hard is it, really, to understand that 911 is only meant to be called in cases of true emergencies? Considering how many asinine requests emergency operators get for reasons that are significantly less than life-threatening, it must be a fairly difficult concept to grasp. And I'm not talking about the occasional accidental pocket-dials, I'm talking about demands made by people like 48-year-old Linda White of Granbury, Texas, who called 911 at approximately 1 a.m. on February 11 because she was desperately in need of ... cigarettes.

"I need some cigarettes," she said.

But when the cops showed up, it wasn't to deliver a carton of smokes -- it was to arrest White and book her on a charge of abusing 911. Whoops!

More from The Stir: Man Calls 911 & Asks to Be Taken on a Beer Run (VIDEO)

At least White apologized later, explaining:

"We were just kicking it in the backyard -- a few beers too many," she said. "Next thing you know, we're out of cigarettes. Well, I didn't want to drive to town ... I was drunk, you know, but in my backyard. Who's the safest person to call? Your police department, I thought."

Believe it or not, cigarettes aren't the craziest reason ever for calling 911. Here are a few more seriously dumbass demands made of emergency workers:

1. To be connected to Tim Tebow.

2. To order up a husband with more of a sex drive.

3. To complain about a broken iPhone.

4. To be rescued from a ... corn maze.

5. To report a baby lion on the loose (guess what? It was a dog with a funny haircut).

Have you ever called 911 for a non-emergency reason?


Image via Michelle/Flickr

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Pinkmani Pinkmani

I can understand the baby lion. If it looks like a lion roaming my neighborhood, I wouldn't want the lion to get hurt or hurt someone else. 

lovem... lovemyson1224

I saw a picture of the dog and it wasn't just a funny haircut. The owner cut its hair specifically to look like a lion. That one I understand. The others a crazy.

ASouza77 ASouza77

I hope people realize that when they call 911 for non-emergencies that they are taking the resources away from someone who might be having a heart attack. My husband works two 911 shifts in a town outside of Boston. There are 2 dedicated paramedic trucks in this town. If peope call 911 for a stubbed toe or a minor bellyache that they've had for 3 days (and haven't called the doctor for) they are making those paramedic trucks completely unavailable for an emergency call. There could be an infant choking or a man having a heart attack that could die because they are being forced to wait for an ambulance from out of town to arrive. When someone calls 911, dispatch has to send someone. If they don't send an ambulance because it souds like a bogus call, they will get in serious trouble if it was actually a legitimate call. My husand has had to respond to "911" calls that are so unbelievably ridiculous like: "I haven't pooped in 2 hours. I think I need to go to the er." or a call at 2am where the person states that they can't sleep probably because they drank  whole pot of coffee. They have a prescription for sleeping pills but they don't want to take them. maybe the er will help. Really???? These people are not only putting other people's lives in danger but they are also wasting beds in the er with this bologna. I can't believe some of the stories I have heard.......

nonmember avatar K

I work in an ER. We've had people call for lice, constipation, sore throats ect. It's bad enough we get people who check in for those non emergencies, but when they take away an ambulance for it, it's a thousand times worse. I've even had some expect me to call 911 so they can get an ambulance ride home.

nonmember avatar June

Going to the er for a sore throat or lice is a lot different than calling 911 to talk about your phone or a football player. Thats why the er is there and they take cases on the level of severity. A lot of people go to the er because they dont have insurance or a primary care physician.

zandh... zandhmom2

Actually June, it isn't different.  You can go to the store and buy a remedy for sore throats or lice but you can't go to the store a buy a remedy if you are having a heart attack.  People should only call 911 or go to the ER for life threatening situations.

Jespren Jespren

This always baffles me. I don't get people who call 911 or go to the Emergency Room (key word 'emergency') for things that are not serious, potentially life threatening issues (or in the case of an ER maybe not 'life threatening' but still emergencies that need immediate attention like stitches or broken bone)

MomOf... MomOf2AndAZoo

I remember hearing about someone calling 911 to ask how long to cook a turkey. Smh. Some people shouldn't be allowed to reproduce.

nonmember avatar Nikki

I've accidentally butt dialed 911 before... But it really was an accident. Turns out, if you keylock track phones, they have about 10 different number combinations that dial out to emergency (presumably so all you have to do is button mash). I sat on my phone and it dialed 08, which redirected to... 911. Hung up, hoping I caught it in time... nope. They called back, I explained as quickly as I could then got off the line so it could be open for real emergencies.

ASouza77 ASouza77

June: Head lice and a sore throat are NOT emergencies! They aren't even something you would go to your regular doctor's office. Go to your local pharmacy and ask the pharmacist to help you find an over the counter remedy. Bringing headlice to the er isn't helping anyone. If a person doesn't have insurance, there are plenty of walk-ins and clinics that will help. An emergency room is NOT a doctor's office. Anyone who uses it as such, should be ashamed of themselves.

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