Just to expand on this post about calling 911 and asking for a pizza to secretly ask for help:
The post is based on a Super Bowl commercial, which itself was based on a Reddit post that’s never been verified as true.
There is no actual pizza code with toppings and shit that dispatchers are trained in. If you come across someone who has heard of the commercial, they might understand. If you come across someone who’s never heard of it, they might think it’s a prank call and hang up on you.
A piece of actual advice to help you in this situation is to dial 911, then hang up without speaking, then turn the phone off. 911 will attempt to call you back, and when they’re unable to reach you, they’ll dispatch a unit to your location under the assumption that you need help and your call was interrupted. This will work 100% of the time, whereas the pizza trick will only work if the dispatcher has heard of the commercial/urban legend.
Also, the toppings thing was a complete and total fabrication and whoever wrote that should be ashamed of themselves, tbh.
as a dispatcher, i need to correct you here, because calling 911, hanging up, and then turning off your phone will, in fact, work 0% of the time.
in my center, when we receive a 911 call from a cell phone, we do not automatically know your exact location. it doesn’t work like that, contrary to popular belief. the only thing we know for sure is the address of the cell phone tower your phone is connected to. cell phone towers cover huge areas, you could be anywhere in that huge area. if you absolutely can’t talk at all, if you can’t even hold the phone to your face, enable the speakerphone and start crying, or yelling, or even whispering, if you can.
also, as i said in my last reblog, most 911 centers in the US these days have text-to-911 capability. can’t call 911? text 911! it’s as simple as that. just be sure to include your address/location in the first text you send, because if you can’t send any more texts after the first one, at least we’ll know where to send help.
OP is correct, however, about the pizza thing. there is no “secret pizza code” or anything like that among dispatchers. i wasn’t trained on anything like that, none of my coworkers were trained on anything like that. it doesn’t exist. if you call 911 and say you need to order a pizza, our very next question will be, “you called 911. did you mean to call 911?” and if your answer is yes, the next question will be, “do you need help?” or “are you in trouble?” pretending to order a pizza is a good way to give us your address, because when you call 911, an address is the most important thing to give us. we can’t help you if we don’t know where you are.
i’ll just say that again.
we cannot help you if we don’t know where you are.
we are trained professionals, but we’re not psychic.