911 operator, what is a call that got you the chills?

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Call came in around 6:00 am in the morning. Teenage kids had gone downstairs to find their father collapsed on the kitchen floor. Per his son he was unconscious but still breathing. Per protocol I confirmed their address, sent the case to dispatch, and stayed on the line. I had the kids turn him onto his side into the recovery position. I reassured them. For a couple of teens they really held it together. I told them to monitor his breathing. They said he was still breathing…kind of… …and that’s when I heard it on the other end of the line. That wasn’t breathing. That was the death rattle. Agonal breathing. That was the first time as an EMD I’d heard that awful fucking rattling sound in a live environment. God help me may it be my last. In an instant I upgraded the case. This was no longer an unconscious patient, but somebody in cardiac arrest. Dispatch was notified. I saw additional resources being attached. I told the two teenagers, in a voice that I hope had even a fraction of the composure they exhibited that we needed to roll their father onto his back. That we needed to commence CPR straight away. I work in a job where you have people in their 20’s and 30’s calling you up screaming, hysterical, and utterly inconsolable because of a fucking headache or a cut finger or a sore back. And yet these two kids barely into their teens were pumping away at their dad’s chest without hesitation, working in tandem to perform the best damn CPR I’ve ever heard over the phone in my six years as an EMD. All I could hear in the background as I helped them keep pace was their father’s rattling breathing. I’m not religious, but you can bet I prayed to God almighty to just let this one live. Please, for fuck’s sake. Just let these kids keep their father, is that so much to ask? At least give the guy a chance to say his goodbyes properly. It was only when the sirens in the background drowned out all other sounds, and the crews confirmed they were at scene, that I quickly told those kids how proud I was of them and disconnected. I made it a point of mine to never follow up jobs like this. But curiosity eventually got the best of me. I found out a few days later that the guy had passed away. I wish I had never followed up.


Little after 2:00am, I got a call of a car gone off a hundred foot embankment into the river. As officers arrive on scene, and begin rescue/ body search. I get relayed name of the deceased who had been friends of mine.. I knew 5 out of 6 in the car, and as the search was wrapping up, I begin to get calls from parents of the victims who knew me. Rough night in a rural area.


It was a year ago, a father called 911 stating his 2 year old daughter wasn’t breathing. I had tried to instruct him on how to do CPR while I got the ambulance out there. He kept refusing and telling me he didn’t know how besides me insisting I would help him do it. He told me that his daughter had fallen down the stairs 2 days before the call and that he didn’t know what was happening. The mother was screaming in the background. I started to get nervous due to the fact that it was 2 mins into the call begging this man to do CPR on his baby. He gave the phone to what I’m assuming is the sister of the mother and I gave her instructions on how to attempt to revive this little baby girl. I told the officers something was going on with this and I didn’t feel right about it and they get there and I never knew anything until the news a few weeks later. The father and grandmother were arrested for murder on this little baby. She passed away due to consistent abuse by the father when the mom was gone or at work. I never forgot that call.


Wife just shot herself in the head. Husband wasn’t sure if she was beyond help. So I have him start CPR . At this point, I’m assuming she’s gone but I want to give him something to do and be able to look back and feel like he did everything he could’ve. While pumping on her chest, their kid who was about 10 walks in. He starts trying to have the kid help. So I tell the kid to grab a towel and apply pressure to the wound. I’m telling a child to hold pressure on his mom’s self inflicted gun shot to her head while coaching the father through cpr. The kid was super focused. Dad was about to lose it multiple times. When medics arrived, she was viable. They transported her. I just assume she didn’t make it but there’s always a chance. We rarely get closure


Not really the chills but this stuck with me because it’d just be such a weird story this guy has for life. Guy called in the morning after going onto his balcony with his morning coffee and he’s greeted by a severed arm. Just the arm, nothing else. Turns out someone had jumped from a much higher floor than his, smacked his arm on the railing on the way down and the impact took it clean off. The remains of the body had already been cleaned up on the ground by the time this guy called and he had just slept through it all.