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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Concerned Boy Calls 911 Over Dinosaur 'Emergency,' Dispatcher and Deputy Respond with Act of Kindness

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Many parents are eager to teach their children about how to respond in an emergency, and one of the first steps is often to teach them to dial 911 if they ever need help.

Another crucial, but often less fine-tuned, aspect of the training is helping children understand what constitutes a serious emergency — especially since so many problems might seem pressing to a 5-year-old that are not medical or safety issues.

Dispatchers sometimes field calls from kids who have experienced “emergencies” that are not really reasons to call 911. This month a dispatcher with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in Florida got one such urgent request.

“This little guy just learned about calling 911 for emergencies,” the sheriff’s office shared on Wednesday.

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“He thought it was an emergency that he needed a dinosaur.

“The dispatcher explained what emergencies are. Then she bought two dinosaurs and sent a deputy (and the 2 dinosaurs!) to check on the child & his family.”

They shared a photo with a deputy and the boy holding his two new dinosaur toys.

On Thursday, the sheriff’s office added a photo of the kind-hearted dispatcher who not only took the time to explain to the young lad what an emergency was, but also went out of her way to get him the toys, too.

“The boy believed the absence of dinosaurs in his life was a real emergency and called 911,” the post stated.

“We explained to him the true nature of an emergency and when to call 911.

“A dispatcher at the [Orange County Sheriff’s Office] Comm Center, whose name is Priscila (pictured below on the right), bought two toy dinosaurs — a Rajasaurus and a Triceratops — and sent a deputy (and the two dinosaurs!) to check on the boy and his family.

“The boy loved the new toys!

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“According to the notes from the call, lizards in the boy’s backyard ‘chase him and his little brother all the time, and hopefully with the addition of his two new dinos, he will now have the dinopower required to repel the lizards during any future encounters.'”

Many commented on the sheriff’s post to share similar stories of children’s logic that ended up with well-intentioned 911 calls.

Others suggested that this sort of response was enabling and that it would encourage the boy to call again. But most people were just thankful that such kind professionals were watching out for the citizens of Orange County.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking