Thursday, April 29, 2010

911 Operator: 'This Is Confusing'

Paltalk News Network

NEW YORK - Normally a dateline on a story just gives the city. But I'm going to give you a more precise dateline than New York. To test you. To see if it confuses you.

Here's the dateline: On 34th, east of 8th Avenue in the borough of Manhattan.

Now, is that confusing to you? Because it was for a New York City 911 operator this afternoon.

I was enjoying the spring weather on a plaza on 34th east of 8th Avenue adjacent to a building called 1 Penn Plaza when it happened. A window several stories above blew out, showering me, and the others who were pausing in the plaza with flying flying glass.

At first I thought it might have been a bomb. But no. There had been no explosion and there was no smoke.

Then I thought someone had jumped out the window. But, thankfully, there were no bodies at the foot of the building.

But one man had been cut. Not from flying glass. But because he tripped and fell in the rush to get out of the way.

So I pulled my cellphone from my pocket and I dialed 911.

The following is an approximation of the exact conversation based on my recollection. But I'm convince the tapes the city keeps of all 911 calls will verify its intended accuracy.

911 operator: 911 where is the problem

Me: On 34th east of 8th Avenue in the borough of Manhattan --

911: Sir, you have to tell me which borough

Me: In the borough of Manhattan. On 34th east of 8th Avenue --

911: You have to give me a building address. This is confusing

Me: At 1 Penn Plaza, in the borough of Manhattan --

911: 110? 110 Street?

Me: No, 1 Penn Plaza. Paul Edward Nora Nora Plaza

911: Sir this is confusing

Me: Nevermind, there's an officer here and she's calling it in on her radio

Thank God it wasn't a life and death emergency. God forbid the 911 operator be confused about that!


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Gary Baumgarten
Host - News Talk Online
Director of News and Programing Paltalk News Network
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