Today, I spent the better half of my shift sitting at a calltaker's console. I was handed a headset and grabbed a cord and chair, plugged in, and got to eavesdrop.
As I expected, there were a lot of people that called for stupid stuff. I was suprised by just how many hang-up calls there were. We only took a handfull of EMS calls, and only 1 fire call. Quite a few calls from alarm companies, and today seemed to be the day to wreck your car.
One guy that had just been rear-ended kept laughing and was in great spirits. We could hear someone else laughing in the background too. The damage must not have been too severe. Oh, and it was a tow-truck that hit him.
The one call we took that was a fire, was one of multiple calls for the same incident. Another calltaker had already gotten the call from someone else. This person woke up and realized their apartment had smoke in it and that the unit below was quite possibly on fire. I never heard anything later about what exactly was on fire.
There was one call that had me holding my breath....to keep from laughing, that is. A female called in and rambled on for what must have been 10 minutes about these people that keep following her. She talked about how they follow her to work, the store, the post office, even to church. They even walk in the church and go past her, then right out another door! These people following her are even smart enough to have lots of different people in different cars that follow her around in traffic.
We've apparently sent units to her house before for similar problems, the calltaker was looking up the call history for the address given while the lady rambled.
The only thing I can figure is that she has some type of medical issues that need to be addressed. Quite possibly paranoia, or paranoid schizophrenia.
The smartass in me hopes she risks being followed to the store to buy a new roll of reynolds wrap, because her tin foil hat isn't thick enough.
After I came back from lunch, I went back to my usual place at one of the consoles on the other end of the room. It was beyond busy.
When I left to go home this afternoon, we did not have a single ambulance left in the department except for 2 contracted transport units. We were also down to 3 engines, and 4-5 aerials. It was getting crazy at 911 and I was happy to be able to leave when I did.
St. Patricks Day, New Orleans
20 hours ago