911 Call Seemed Like A Prank, But It Definitely Wasn't

Quick thinking.

Being a 911 dispatcher must be a stressful job. You're either getting prank calls, life or death emergencies or people who are in serious need of help. In a reddit post, one man described a call where his level-headed response and strong focus prevented some serious pain inside someone's home. 


The dispatcher was Keith Weisinger, and apparently this incident happened 8 years ago. When this reddit post was originally covered by aatchup, Weisinger took to the comments section to clear some things up. 

I'm actually the dispatcher who took this call. You don't have to believe me, but I originally posted this comment to a reddit thread a few months ago. A fellow redditor recognized the story and brought this to my attention. I'm not upset about not being credited for the comment (actually I feel like I've finally been published!) but a little research would have clarified some things:

1) I'm a guy, not a "her"
2) I was a DISPATCHER, not an operator (pet peeve of dispatchers to be called an "operator")
3) Although I love being credited with "saving a life," I'm not sure that's the case here. But I am proud to say I picked up on the caller's very clever ruse, which hopefully saved her from further abuse.I appreciate the debate going on (victim-blaming v. psychological abuse). I am hardly an expert on such matters, but I can tell you from a 911-dispatcher's point of view, the choice to leave an abusive relationship is more complicated than anyone who hasn't experienced such abuse can imagine. On more than one occasion, I have simply asked victims why they don't leave the abuser (not accusatorily, but simply because I wanted to know). I have heard a range of answers from 1) "I don't know", 2) "he would never let me go without more abuse", 3) "if I leave he will try to get the kids and I can't leave them with him", 4) "I can't support myself right now", 5) or worst of all, "I love him/her". I wish I had a resolution on this call to share (it was 8 years ago by the way - I'm no longer a dispatcher), but the unfortunate reality is that once a dispatcher hangs up the phone, we move on to the next call and rarely hear about how the situation was resolved.

Were glad he cleared things up, and certainly glad he spent time doing his job so well!

Thanks to Flickr for the cover photo.

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