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Absurd 911 Calls Remembered in Book by Forest Hills EMT

By Nigel Chiwaya | November 19, 2012 7:37am
 David Konig is an 18-year veteran of the Forest Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corp.
David Konig is an 18-year veteran of the Forest Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corp.
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David Konig

FOREST HILLS — One person called 911 when they couldn't figure out how to unlock their car. Another wanted to get the name of the cute police officer that told her to turn her music down. And another was angry she couldn't get a refund on her McDonald's chicken nuggets.

While 911 is supposed to be used only for emergencies, EMT David Konig has responded to an endless stream of less-than-life-threatening calls, inspiring him to collect crazy calls from around the nation for his new book, "You Called 911 for What?"

The book, released in the Amazon Kindle store in October, details some of the most absurd emergency calls that Konig has come across in his 18 years with the Forest Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corp., as well as calls from other cities.

"I'm probably getting two to three of those a day," said Konig, 38, of Richmond Hill. "You get calls like, 'I was in an accident like seven days ago and now I want to go go the hospital,' or 'I stubbed my toe so now I need a Band-Aid.'"

The angry McDonald's customer dialed 911 three times after trying to return her McNuggets meal.

"I’m calling uhm, I need an officer in McDonald’s on US 1 by the bridge," the caller stated.

"OK, what’s going on there?" the operator responded.

"I just ordered some food, the manager just took my money and won’t give me my money back and tryin’ to make me get something off the menu that I don’t want," the caller said.

Konig, originally from Middle Village, includes a personal anecdote about a call he received regarding a car crash in The Bronx. There was no car when he arrived at the scene, but his dispatcher directed him to a 19th-floor apartment near the crash scene, where he found a woman who had been in a crash but waited for days before deciding that she needed to be taken to the hospital.

"We always used to say the stuff that people called 911 for, you should write a book about," said Konig, who first volunteered with the Forest Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corp. as a college junior in 1994. "One day, I was sitting around, I said, 'I'm going to turn around and check out some crazy 911 calls,' but there's no good books on that.

"I decided that if there's nothing out there, maybe I should write the book."

Konig, who has responded to 911 calls during 9/11, the Flight 587 plane crash in Belle Harbor and Hurricane Sandy, said that no matter how crazy the call, dispatch will still send an ambulance. And despite poking fun at outrageous calls, he'd rather the public dial for help than not.

"Even though they're calling for outrageous things; if you think it's an emergency, call 911," he said. "And if it's not, that's OK. We'll still come, we'll still try to help you out. If it is, then you did the right thing."