Dear Everyone: Stop Calling 911 If Your Cable Is Out When Breaking Bad Is On

from the breaking-emergency-services dept

Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, you have surely heard about AMC's hit show Breaking Bad, featuring Bryan Cranston cosplaying Gordon Freeman while making a ton of drugs and generally being an all-around badass. Fortunately for this story, journalistic integrity doesn't really include my opinion of the show, because I watch it enough that my dog and my fiancé can now recite the proper cooking method for a batch of blue crack-speed, which is a strange thing to hear from a dog, I have to tell you. Add to that AMC's being rather awesome when disputes with Dish Network prevented subscribers from seeing it on their TVs and I have something of a fanboi relationship with the show.

And yet, if I had a cable subscription and it went on the fritz during the latest episode, I probably wouldn't be on the horn with emergency services to get help like apparently everyone in Norwich, Connecticut was.

That's what happened last night in southern Connecticut when affected Optimum Cable subscribers decided that missing an episode of Breaking Bad or Eat Drink Love was akin to suffering a major heart attack. Service was down for about two hours during primetime because of a power outage in Norwich.

Confused as to what to do and too impatient to wait until the next day, people started calling 911. That unsurprisingly pissed off emergency dispatchers.
The result of this pissing-off of dispatchers was for emergency services to engage their snark-emitters on social media, informing everyone that abusing 911 services could result in arrest and that they wouldn't get cable in prison, either. Not bad, but I wonder how many of them had to resist the urge to dispatch SWAT to each and every caller to administer a bit of the old scared-straight tactic, because if my Gram-Gram needed an ambulance and couldn't get one because someone's cable was out, I'd be inclined to go full-psycho on them.
So, please, people of the world and, more importantly, Connecticut, don't call for EMS because you can't watch Breaking Bad. Instead, Gawker offers a list of more productive activities you could engage in, such as swearing, eating a cookie, or maybe just wait until the morrow when AMC makes their episodes available on iTunes.



Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Ninja (profile), Aug 20th, 2013 @ 4:03am

    I think that being deprived of their favorite TV trash (not in a depreciative tone mind you) they got some sort of MENTAL stroke. It seems to me it may be life threatening enough!

    I find it rather amusing considering I don't generally watch tv ;)

     

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    Ben (profile), Aug 20th, 2013 @ 5:20am

    Of course if it had been someone calling 911 to report a neighbour infringing their TV enjoyment license by watching Breaking Bad through their window, then I'm sure the SWAT team would have been there in a heartbeat.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2013 @ 5:21am

    I'll assume ootb is among the callers.

    His reasoning skills are about that level

     

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    RyanNerd (profile), Aug 20th, 2013 @ 5:24am

    This is worse than McDonald's getting your order wrong

    Not being able to watch Breaking Bad is worse than this.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2013 @ 6:26am

      Re: This is worse than McDonald's getting your order wrong

      To be fair he paid for a product he did not receive and was stonewalled. There are probably a hundred better ways of dealing with it but jail time? Seems like a greater waste of time/resources than a cop asking Mc D's to give the man what he paid for.

       

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        RyanNerd (profile), Aug 20th, 2013 @ 10:01am

        Re: Re: This is worse than McDonald's getting your order wrong

        Okay. I can see how the SWAT team not taking the side of the 911 caller and forcing McDonald's to correct his order may have been a better use of police time.
        However, what about this?

         

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    Marak, Aug 20th, 2013 @ 5:57am

    No wonder our American friends in here are complaining about the lack of support from their countrymen, they have been replaced with mindless fucking idiots.

    I don't think there's enough facepalm (or face-bat to the people called 911) to sum this up.

     

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    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Aug 20th, 2013 @ 6:03am

    Or...

    Contact the cable provider and insist on a refund for the day + rebroadcast of the show... Even if they say NO, you realize that the cost to handle the call will cost them more than you paid for the inability to view your favorite time-waster...

     

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    miatajim (profile), Aug 20th, 2013 @ 6:14am

    On behalf of myself and the other people in Connecticut with half a working brain, we are sorry.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2013 @ 6:16am

    Is this the result of removing critical thinking.

     

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    AndrewLee, Aug 20th, 2013 @ 6:19am

    They should have called 194.71.107.15

     

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      Haywood (profile), Aug 20th, 2013 @ 6:37am

      Re:

      Their internet was probably down also. Then keep in mind; they likely weren't the sharpest tools in the shed, so an avi wouldn't do them much good.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2013 @ 6:46am

    are yew on drugs?

     

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    Wolfy, Aug 20th, 2013 @ 6:58am

    What a condemning indictment of America. A bloody TV show gets interrupted, and people freak out and call 911.

    Mr. Snowden blows the lid off the second biggest story of the century, and the most people do reach for another bon-bon, by comparison.

     

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    DanZee (profile), Aug 20th, 2013 @ 7:08am

    Only 1 Person Called

    A local radio commentator Jon Keller did some research and found only ONE person called 911 and a couple of other people called some of the town's other lines. Both the cops and the media overreacted!

     

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    Michael, Aug 20th, 2013 @ 7:31am

    You actually do get cable in prison.

     

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    CommonSense (profile), Aug 20th, 2013 @ 8:14am

    wow

    Since moving to CT about 7 years ago, there have been a lot of times that I've been slightly embarrassed to admit that I live here. This is not one of those times. I am not slightly embarrassed, I am down right ashamed...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2013 @ 8:30am

    http://www.simsoup.info/SimSoup.htm
    http://www.linux4chemistry.info/


    I have been studying chemistry lately, mostly because I wanted to make soap from vegetable oil and paper from bamboo.

    I discovered some wonderful resources out there.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2013 @ 8:56am

    Life threatening?

    "911 should be called for Life Threatening Emergencies ONLY."

    I can't believe the police department is saying that. It's just not true. If someone stole your car ten seconds ago, that's not life threatening, but it's also totally appropriate to call 911. If my house is on fire and there's nobody inside and no other houses nearby, that's not life threatening either, but again 911 is the preferred method of reporting it. If you fell out of a tree and think you just broke an arm and a leg, you are not likely to die from that even without medical attention, but yet again 911 is what you should call.

    "The result of this pissing-off of dispatchers was for emergency services to engage their snark-emitters on social media, informing everyone that abusing 911 services could result in arrest and that they wouldn't get cable in prison, either."

    If you aren't going to arrest people for this, why even have the law? Calling 911 here was clearly illegal. If I were in charge, if there was an officer free I would send them over immediately. Have the officer act friendly, get the person to state they just called 911 because their cable was out, and then put them in handcuffs.

     

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      John Fenderson (profile), Aug 20th, 2013 @ 10:55am

      Re: Life threatening?

      If someone stole your car ten seconds ago, that's not life threatening, but it's also totally appropriate to call 911.


      It's legal to do so, but probably not the best use of 911 resources. It's not like they're going to rush right out with a forensics team to gather clues that will degrade if not attended to immediately. What they'll do is send a cop, take your report, and leave. It would be just as effective to call their nonemergency line.

       

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    Desmond, Aug 20th, 2013 @ 2:19pm

    Norwich/Norwalk Quoted Article Edited without Update

    Hello, your article caught my eye as a former resident of Norwich, CT. I wanted to see what my silly former neighbors were up to, so I opened the link to the original article, and it appears they changed the name of the town to Norwalk, a completely different town in CT. Must've been a mistake on their part for the original posting, and they failed to properly note that the article has been updated.

    Thought you'd like to know, and update your own article for errata.

    Thanks,
    Desmond

     

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    Rekrul, Aug 20th, 2013 @ 3:30pm

    Actually, the cable/internet/phone was out for about three hours. It came back on briefly twice, but then went out again. It went off a few minutes after 6PM and wasn't back on reliably until about 9PM.

    I tried calling Cablevision's customer service line a couple times, but it was busy.

     

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