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Emergency calls are always all over the map — even more so on Friday the 13th, according to some dispatchers.
On a recent episode of “911 Crisis Center,” airing Saturdays at 9/8c on Oxygen, a Friday the 13th that also marked the end to annual Police Week celebrations came with a number of unusual emergencies.
One of those calls involved a man who was dancing in public “with his privates out.” Officer responded and the man went on his way.
Another call came from a semi truck driver who reported that a man in another vehicle tried to cut him off and followed him into an Amazon parking lot. The suspect got out of his car and was hitting the truck. Dispatchers urged the driver of the truck to stay put.
“If the driver of the semi truck were to get out, then there's the possibility that he could be physically injured,” said a dispatcher.
Officers en route to the scene were informed about the hostile situation in order to keep them safe. As police arrived, dispatchers confirmed that the truck driver was unharmed. Police made an erratic driver report and sent both drivers on their way.
Calls concerning animals — domestic and otherwise — are commonplace at Chagrin Valley Dispatch in Ohio. Calls on Friday the 13th brought a menagerie of situations.
One concerned a house cat whose tail was injured in a La-Z Boy chair, while another was a report of a snake near a residence. (The snake turned out to be nonpoisonous.) In a more serious call, a 7-year-old girl was bitten by a dog belonging to her neighbor. Paramedics and officers were sent to the address.
“This can become a heated situation really fast,” said dispatch supervisor Charline Polk, who has handled these kinds of calls before. “We can go from a dog bite to someone getting shot, hurt, stabbed, or killed.”
The patient was treated at the scene and was expected to make a full recovery. The animal’s owner, meanwhile, received a dangerous dog citation.
Dispatch trainee Patrick Mulholland answered a call about a 21-year-old woman who was eight months pregnant with her first child who was having contractions. A squad was immediately dispatched to the scene. Mulholland determined that the mom-to-be was not bleeding and that her water had not broken, but then the situation took an urgent turn.
“Hurry up, she’s having a seizure!" the caller said.
Because so many things could happen before paramedics arrived, Ashley Welch, an experienced dispatcher, stepped in. Welch determined that the woman, who had passed out, was breathing and that she had epilepsy.
EMS personnel en route were informed of all the details. Dispatchers later learned that the expectant mother and her baby were both doing fine.
In a very atypical call, dispatchers responded to a report of a man stranded in Lake Erie. The Coast Guard, which has jurisdiction of the waters, and a helicopter unit got involved in the rescue.
Dispatchers soon determined that the man was actually able to make it to shore on his own, so they made efforts to cancel the helicopter. The Coast Guard said they would continue to respond to make sure the man was safely ashore.
The man was actually a kitesurfer who said landing in the water happens to him all the time.
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