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Buffysquirrel
01-19-2013, 10:15 PM
Contemporary, UK.

So my protagonist (and for those who've helped me out in the Mozart thread, yes, same protag) and his boyfriend are trapped in a room of a burning building. Protag has a mobile phone so he calls 999 and gets put through to the fire brigade operator.

Thing is, he's got a bit of a mental quirk about dragons due to some unfortunate events involving a train and getting firebombed out of his home. So when he goes to report the fire, he reports a dragon instead.

I'm wondering how the operator would react. Would they assume it's a hoax call? Would they keep him on the line trying to get him to admit it's a hoax? Would they send fire engines or just a police car to check it out?

He's lucid if a bit scared and he can explain he's just got 'a thing' about dragons. Would it help if the boyfriend took the phone? He's in a panic, though.

(There's also confusion about which building is on fire, as there are two with similar names, and they're both on fire, as it happens. Busy night.)

sprogspasser
01-19-2013, 10:35 PM
There's no set procedure for such a thing. How operator would react would depend on operator and how busy they were that night.

Operator could see that protag's number has come up on the screen (unless he blocked it). THis might tilt operator into treating it as a non-hoax call.

Or operator may think that caller is reporting some dangerous animal on the loose and investigate further.

Operator may ask for caller's name and number and if he gave this information operator would most likely treat it as a non-hoax call.

Buffysquirrel
01-19-2013, 10:38 PM
Thanks :). I am kinda leaning towards having them rescued....

It's a borrowed phone (the police have his phone) so blocking is possible. Also possible he wouldn't know the number he's calling from.

Rufus Coppertop
01-20-2013, 04:44 PM
What I would do is have the operator sigh and say, "another one?"

The fire brigade turns up and rescues them along with several heavily armoured vehicles of the Wildlife Control Ministry. Vehicles that have net-throwing equipment and water cannons and an absolutely military grade tranquillizer gun.

Mr Flibble
01-20-2013, 04:52 PM
heavily armoured vehicles of the Wildlife Control Ministry. Vehicles that have net-throwing equipment and water cannons and an absolutely military grade tranquillizer gun.

I don't think we have those....we have RSPCA vans? Picture the brave Inspector gearing up for a dragon attack armed with nothing but his clipboard, a cat box and one of those noose things.

crunchyblanket
01-20-2013, 04:59 PM
I don't think we have those....we have RSPCA vans? Picture the brave Inspector gearing up for a dragon attack armed with nothing but his clipboard, a cat box and one of those noose things.

"We're going to need a bigger box."

seun
01-20-2013, 05:01 PM
I don't think we have those....we have RSPCA vans? Picture the brave Inspector gearing up for a dragon attack armed with nothing but his clipboard, a cat box and one of those noose things.

And his Thermos. Then when it's all taken of, he doesn't go to the bother of filing a report as he doesn't want to make a big deal of it.

jclarkdawe
01-20-2013, 05:29 PM
Incoherent emergency calls are not that unusual. Drunks, druggies, and the mentally ill all call in, with a varying amount of being able to be understood. You send a police cruiser.

All land lines should be locatable by emergency services. Nearly all mobile phones have GPS built into them, although you might not see it. Further, at least in the US, there's been a big push to get rid of "duplicate" addresses.

Police cruiser, in responding, will probably see smoke rising. At that point, police officer notifies dispatcher and notifies fire department. As a captain on a fire department, I've increased alarms (going from one alarm up to four alarms) as we responded. You can make a pretty good guess what equipment you need from the smoke column. And I've known other firefighters who've done the same thing. Delay in waiting to for the police to see smoke is not that substantial.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

mirandashell
01-20-2013, 07:21 PM
If the building is on fire, it won't be the only call the emergency operator will get. They will more than likely get quite a few so will send fire engines out there. I think the operator will more than likely ignore the bit about the dragon.

Shakesbear
01-20-2013, 10:07 PM
Operators ask for name and number. Some operators are not very bright.* I agree with Mirandashell that they will get more than one call.

*I dialled 999 because the fire alarm in the building I was living in was going bonkers. I had no idea how to turn it off. The operator was slow, very slow. Conversation went something like . . .

Op: Good evening, can I help you?

Me: Yes - the fire alarm in my building is going off. There is no fire, but I don't know how to turn if off.

Op: O. Can you give me you name, the phone number you are calling from and the address.

I gave the info asked for. Pause. Pause. Very long pause.

Op: Which side of the river are you on?

Me: The Birmingham side.

Op: Are you sure?

Me: Yes.

Op: I thought that the building you are calling from is on the Oxford side.

Me: No. Birmingham.

Op: O. Pause.


Op: There is an engine on its' way. Please go down and meet it.

I did. Two engines arrived and the fire fighters thought there was a fire. They reset the alarm (that is another story!) and were on their way. You don't want to know about the police officer that arrived, or the neighbours!

King Neptune
01-20-2013, 10:24 PM
WHy don't you call they fire brigade and ask them how they would handle it. If they are hesitant about using an emergency phone line, then stop in and visit.. You might bring some cookies, and you could explain exactly what you are doing. If a call comes in while you are the, then it would be more information for you.

Buffysquirrel
01-21-2013, 02:06 AM
Thanks, everyone! I should have the RSPCA turn up....

They have had other calls, but for the other building, which complicates things. It did occur to me yesterday that possibly someone else trapped elsewhere in the house would also have called, doh.

jaksen
01-21-2013, 04:12 AM
Sorry for stepping into this thread (when I have nothing to offer), but having read this thread and the entire Mozart thread, I have to ask...

What kind of book are you writing???

Dragons, Mozart, fires...oh my

areteus
01-21-2013, 04:54 AM
If they have had calls for the other building then they will send engines for that and then the engine crews will notice the other fire and report that over the radio... probably swearing about needing more engines here quickly before the whole fucking neighbourhood goes up and complaining that dispatch did not give them all the information they needed.

The RSPCA will very efficiently and quickly capture any dragons, probably followed by an Animal Rescue film crew doing a reality documentary (hosted by Rolf Harris obviously) using nothing more than one of those noose things, a handful of coal chips and a convenient virgin they keep in the vans for just such an eventuality. The police will have to establish a cordon to prevent any knights from arriving to rescue the virgin once the inspector has her chained to the pillory outside the building, of course.

As Lady Sybil Ramkin would of course say, 'don't worry about the little fella, just give him a tap on the nose with a rolled up newspaper if he is a bother'

frimble3
01-21-2013, 06:34 AM
And doesn't the 'convenient virgin' get mocked by his fellows. He thought it was a strange question to be asked at his RSPCA employment application.

On a more OT note, it might not be just the inhabitants of one building or the other that call in the fire. If it's visible from the outside, a passerby, or anyone noticing smoke, might call it in, which would at least provide confirmation.

debirlfan
01-21-2013, 11:35 AM
If the building is on fire and your trapped hero calls and reports dragons, I'm betting his boyfriend snatches the phone from him and screams "Fire! Fire! Not dragon, fire!"

At least, that's what I would do....

Buffysquirrel
01-21-2013, 04:07 PM
Honestly, I think this thread encapsulates everything I love about AW.