911 is the hotline to call for emergency and life-threatening situations. Dispatchers are trained not just to receive incoming emergency calls, but also to prioritize calls based on the nature of the crisis, to provide instructions on life-saving emergency medical interventions, and to dispatch the proper emergency personnel.
On top of that, they are also tasked to help the callers in distress remain calm enough to provide them with vital information for them to understand the scope of the situation.
Antonia Bundy, a 911 dispatcher who works for the Lafayette Police in Indiana, comes every day to work prepared to face the daunting task ahead of her. However, she received one call that wasn’t exactly an emergency, although the caller really sounded distressed.
The caller was a young boy who told her, “I had a really bad day… I just came to tell you that.” From the sound of his voice, Antonia knew it was true.
But instead of blowing him off, Antonia asked the lad how she could help.
“What happened at school that made you have a bad day?” she said, according to a tape of the call, cited by the station.
“I just have tons of homework,” the boy said. One of the math problems — which centered on fractions — was “so hard,” he complained.
The kind dispatcher walked him through how to solve it. The boy, in turn, thanked her and apologized.
“I’m sorry for calling you, but I really needed help,” the boy said.
“You’re fine, we’re always here to help!” Bundy answers.
It is important to note that it was a slow day at the Lafayette Police station. Also, there were six other dispatchers with Antonia that day, which gave her the liberty to assist the boy even if he called with a non-emergency situation.
“He didn’t sound like he was in good spirits,” Bundy told Inside Edition. “That, in itself, that’s what we’re trained to do. We’re trained to help people in their worst time.”
Antonia hopes that she didn’t give the boy a wrong answer and she hopes that he had a better day.
“[Dispatchers] do receive some oddball requests,” Lafayette Police Sgt. Matt Gard said. “But this situation of calling asking for homework help — I’ve been in law enforcement for 13 years and I don’t know I’ve ever heard of this happening.” He called her a “dedicated” worker with a big heart.
But of course, this doesn’t mean that we can now call 911 for homework problems! Sgt. Gard says that this gesture by Antonia was thoughtful, but there are better places to call for help with math.
What a sweet story! Watch Inside Edition’s report about this odd 911 call below.