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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teesie76 teesie76

ASouza77 so if my kid has strep throat with a double ear infection that popped up overnight, while visitingfamily in another state, I shouldnt take them to the er? just make them suffer and not go to a dr either when we return home....or be ashamed of ourselves..your an idiot..

Seldom Adkins

There is a huge difference between clogging a phone line on 911 for pointless reasons and going to the er or taking someone there for a "non emergency". As soon as you get to the ER you talk to somone about why you are there, you are processed and seen based on the expected severity of your case. You aren't even given a room untill they are sure there are no other potential life threatening cases ahead of you. I'm sorry, if my child has been running a fever that won't go down and its a weekend, or I've had a sore throat for a few days and can't get in to my doctor, or numerous other "non emergency" reasons that I've gone to the er I wil freakin go. And NOT feel ashamed. I would much rather do it and take the risk that it wasn't as bad as I thought it was, then not go and have it be a million times worse. 

Gramto8 Gramto8

Teesie76.. That's what urgent care and med centers are for... You will probably be seen much faster and it's much less expensive. If you go to an ER, expect to be there all night because they triage and take the most serious first. That's why it's called the Emergency Department.

ASouza77 ASouza77

Teesie76..... If you are out of state and have no way to get to a doctor and your child is very sick, of course bring them to the ER! The majority of people go to the ER with a sniffle or a stubbed toe! You wouldn't believe the things people call 911 for thinking they need to be seen in the ER. The abuse of the whole emergency medical system is absolutely disgusting!!!

ASouza77 ASouza77

People call 911 for the most ridiculous of reasons. It takes away from those who really are having an emergency. Would you like to be responsible for a baby across town dying because you called 911 for a stubbed toe?

nonmember avatar Amanda

My neighbor called 911 because she didn't have a car and had been throwing up all day... I thought it was the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard of and told her so. I, of course, assumed she had a stomach bug and it could wait until morning when she could go to her PCP. As it turned out, she needed her gallbladder removed... I'm not 100% sure it was so critical that it couldn't have waited, but I'd say sometimes you go to the ER for something small and end up actually having something wrong with you... But a lot of small issues are definitely not emergency situations and have no business being brought into the ER. My mom is one of those who loves to go to the ER all the time. She once convinced me she may have had internal bleeding so I would take her to the ER. (I was pregnant at the time and unwilling to spend the night in a germy ER without a good reason and it was late at night too) Long story short I spent 5 hours in the ER over hemorrhoids and was one pissed little preggo. Sometimes it's hit or miss, but I really think most of us should know the difference between minor discomfort and major pain/ life threatening issues. So knowing people would abuse the emergency resources over such ignorance is really sad... People need to wake up. Today it's them making the "prank" calls, tomorrow they could be the ones desperately needing help that is held up by some other joker thinking he's clever...

nonmember avatar Bree

I agree with Seldom.... if you dont know what to do, emergency or not, have no insurance or regular doctor... go to the er. Most small towns, mine included have NO urgent care centers or clinics anywhere near us. All we have is the hospital.

The er is based on severity, so you have to wait to be seen after you explain your situation. 911 is different in that, its a phone line you are tying up and no one can get through. Anyone can get into the er. And you can usually tell who needs attention first (lights and sirens), you cant usually figure that out over the phone.

If the er docs and nurses dont like that, then maybe they should go get a job at a private practice or 9-5 clinic which some of you speak so highly of.

Kasondra Iarussi

@Amanda: A gallbladder can burst so they try to monitor it and take it out if it is that bad. I had mine removed while 18 weeks pregnant. When I got my first attack(comes with pain and throwing up) I thought I was dying! Though I was pregnant and that contributed to my fear lol

Yurik... Yuriko_chan

I am in no way condoning this. But a lot of people go to the ER because they don't have insurance. And if they don't have insurance they would have to pay out of pocket to get seen at an urgent care or a doctor's office. At the ER there are payment plans, and even sometimes, one doesn't even have to pay it back.


zumba... zumbafreak11

The only one I could understand is the one about the dog that looked like a lion.  If it truly had been a lion on the loose, then yes, it warrants a 911 call.  All the other reasons are stupid and take critical time away from someone who's having a REAL emergency like a heart attack or stroke.

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