The Dumbest Reasons Why Firefighters Have Had to Save People

Shannon Quinn - August 6, 2021

Most people take it for granted that we have the ability to call 911 and get a lightning-fast response time from our local firefighters and first responders. On top of the work they do for us by putting out fires, firefighters also end up getting called for random assignments that have nothing to do with putting out flames. You’ve probably all heard of the stories about firefighters rescuing a cat from a tree. But you won’t believe some of the crazy things they have been called in for! Here at Home Addict, we’ve put together some of the dumbest reasons why firefighters were called in to save people’s lives.

This firefighter struggled to rescue someone from the bottom of a cliff. Credit: Shutterstock

36. The Drunken Mountain Rescue

“I was a volunteer firefighter with a rural department in the foothills of Appalachia. Very small college town. Like, roughly 1500 students and about 500 locals. Every year we had students fall off the side of the relatively gentle-sloping “mountains” around campus. These falls were rarely fatal or even likely to cause serious injury. One of the fraternities had a big formal and we got the call that someone had wandered off from the party and couldn’t be found. This is just before cell phones started to be everywhere.

“Turns out it is a guy in my class who I know pretty well. We go out in the woods looking for him, and heard groaning. Not a far drop, about 15 feet, but sheer sides and no way to walk out. So we have to get the high-angle rescue truck with all our ropes and the backboard. The whole time he fought us on it. I’m sitting there trying to explain, ‘Hey man, it’s me, your buddy, you know me, let me help you.’ Guy kept lurching away from us, taking swings, and rolling off the board whenever we finally got him on it. It took half of the small, undermanned fire department all goddamn night to get him out. Like, he literally had time to sober up enough to become cooperative.”

This home owner created DIY molotov cocktails. Credit: Shutterstock

35. DIY Molotov Cocktails

“Rolled up to a triplex row of two-story townhomes. The unit in the middle was blowing and going. By the time we put the fire out, there was a huge V pattern on the back side of the complex, meaning you could see where the fire started at about waist level near the rear wall because everything above it was burned away upwards and outwards. Just completely cratered and gone in a V all the way up to the (now mostly missing) roof. Turns out the genius in the middle unit was trying to start his charcoal BBQ grill. Unfortunately, he didn’t have any starter fluid, so he got the fantastic idea to use gasoline instead.

“Alas, the coals didn’t completely catch the first time he lit them off, so he decided to pour on more gasoline. OUT OF THE GLASS JAR HE WAS USING TO STORE IT IN. A spark in the coals leapt up the pouring gas into the jar. Said genius panicked and threw the jar. Directly at the wall of his townhome. Where it exploded. He basically made Molotov cocktails in his own home. When we rolled up our hoses and went back in service, leaving the scene in the capable hands of the investigators, the neighbors from either side were angrily and animatedly grouped up on the sidewalk out front, waiting for Captain Stupid to return from the walk he had suddenly decided he needed to go on to ‘clear his head’.”

This man tried way too hard to kill a gopher in his backyard. Credit: Shutterstock

34. The Gopher Battle

“Years ago we had this call straight out of CaddyShack. Some guy had gotten tired of this gopher ruining his yard. Little did he know though he was facing the Sun Tzu of gophers. The homeowner, dwelling upon his experience from Vietnam, decided that the best way to deal with the gopher was to treat the situation like a VC tunnel, in lieu of a frag grenade he poured a five gallon can of gasoline down the gopher hole, waited with a varmint gun, and lit it off. The ensuing explosion caused a small crater to form in his yard. I am still thoroughly impressed that there was a proper fuel to air ratio in the network of tunnels that allowed for such an explosion to happen.

“However the gopher refused to surrender without a fight. The gopher ran out of the hole engulfed in flames, causing the guy’s yard to catch on fire. It sprinted into the guy’s shed still on fire and burrowed into a void space in the wall, where he died. Like the martyr perk from Modern Warfare his still flaming remains set the inside of the wall on fire as well as several flammables. In the end the guy’s backyard was ruined and about a quarter of his shed burned down taking out a bunch of power tools and a zero turn mower. He definitely would have saved a few thousand dollars if he had hired an exterminator.”

The fire department was called when a gorilla got loose. Credit: Shutterstock

33. The King Kong of Boston

“My dad was in the Boston Fire Department. One morning in late September, they get a call to the Franklin Park Zoo for a young girl mauled by a gorilla. This is the sort of call they’d get all the time. Gorilla jumps at the glass, kid gets scared, parents call 911. A couple of the other firefighters start walking into the zoo as my dad notices a man sitting on a bench holding a little girl in his arms. Assuming this is what the call is for, he walks over to the man. The little girl has a scrape on her forehead and she’s crying but is otherwise fine. The man looks like he just saw a ghost. So my dad asks the guy what’s going on. The man just says ‘Little Joe is out.’

Little Joe is a 500-pound adolescent male silverback gorilla. Loose in the streets of Boston. It’s right about now that my dad realizes that he’s not exactly qualified to handle a gorilla, so he calls everyone. Two minutes later the fire chief shows up, jumps out of his car saying, ‘Mark, is this about a stupid gorilla!?’ My dad says ‘Yeah, but how’d you hear that?’ The chief says ‘He’s standing at the bus stop on Seaver Street!’ Now the swat team shows up, hats on backwards, M16s in hand and my dad, being the joker he is, looks at the sergeant and says, ‘Hey I don’t think this thing is armed.’ Animal control and the swat team worked together to take down Little Joe. It took 14 tranquilizer darts before he finally went unconscious. Little Joe is still alive and well at the Franklin Park Zoo.”

A kid climbed through a claw machine and got stuck. Credit: Shutterstock

32. Kids Getting Themselves Into Trouble

Costco company policy now requires that all safes/cabinets/etc be locked closed on the display floor because of this little genius in my hometown who locked himself in. None of the employees had the key or combination, and apparently 911 is faster than a locksmith. We cut the hinges off with a circular saw. Scared the crap out of the kid, but he was fine. It was Saturday, so we snagged a few free samples on the way out. All in all a good day!

“We rescued another kid out of a stuffed animal game at the fair once too. The kid climbed up through the trap door trying to reach the toys and got stuck. That was a fun one too.”

A small child tried diving off of one of these, as if it was a deep pool. Credit: Shutterstock

31. Water Park Woes

“Fire department and the paramedics had to come to my work one day because some kid didn’t know the difference between a swimming pool and a splash pad. There’s this artificial waterfall that goes down into a basin that’s only about 2 inches deep where there’s fountains and stuff for kids to play in. This kid decided to climb up the waterfall (there are multiple signs posted not to do this) and decided to dive off into the water below that again is only 2 INCHES DEEP!”

“Luckily the kid landed flat on his face so he survived and avoided being paralyzed but he was knocked out cold immediately and would have probably drowned but luckily his mother heard the splat and came running over screaming and pulled him out. Yikes. This is why you should always keep an eye on your kids at the water park or amusement parks! I’m not sure why this was an issue for the fire department, though.”

This person locked themselves in the car without realizing what this button is for. Credit: Shutterstock

30. Locked Inside

Nowadays, people have gotten so used to using their electronic car accessories for locking your doors or putting the window down. However, most people start out driving an older car where you need to manually do everything. This story shows just how little someone can know about their own vehicle.

“A motorist had a bad alternator and the car died while they were driving. The electric lock control stopped working. We were dispatched for a person trapped in a motor vehicle. On arrival, the advice was given to manually lift the lock knob. You can easily tell the ones who will not survive the first 24 hours of the zombie apocalypse.”

A corn field that has been burned to a crisp. Credit: Shutterstock

29. Children of the Corn

This next story goes to show just how bad things can get when you drink and drive. “I was a volunteer firefighter. One summer, after a long period of no rain, two good old boys decide to have a few (dozen) beers and take their Jeep into a nearby field to go off-roading. Well, ~2 ft. tall corn stalks that are bone-dry wind-up getting jammed up into the undercarriage, which, on a 90+ degree day, turns out to be hot enough to ignite a fire. The owner of the field sees the situation unfolding from their house and calls for fire and police. Given the proximity to my location, I go directly to the scene after hearing the page go out and see these two morons trying to drive the Jeep faster and faster to put the fire out.”

“Eventually, the engine gives out, but they won’t leave the car. I physically had to reach in, burning my arms in the process (since I didn’t respond to the station first to get my turnout gear), and pull them out. Somehow, they decided that remaining in the car would slow down the flames. And because they thought it was a good idea to continue driving a burning vehicle around a dry field, we now have a significant brush fire and have to call mutual aid from another county to help douse the fire. State Police get involved. I had a nice trip to the hospital. And those dummies lose their Jeep and the remainder of their booze.”

This man refused to leave a burning building because of his job. Credit: Shutterstock

28. No Job is Worth Your Life

In this next story, we see just how insane some people are when it comes to their job. Please, for the love of God, never put your job before your life.

“My dad worked for IBM‘s tech support. A customer called in because he needed to run a report and send it out to the networked printer. The guy on the phone was freaking out because some corporate big-wig demanded that this report be printed and on his desk by 3pm. About 10 minutes into the call my dad starts to hear this strange high pitched noise in the background.

Dad, ‘Uhh, if you don’t mind my asking, what’s that noise in the background?’

Caller, ‘Oh, that’s the fire alarm.’

‘Fire alarm?’

‘Yeah, the building is on fire.’

‘Shouldn’t you get out of there?’

‘You don’t understand. I HAVE to get this report printed.’

A few minutes later, my dad hears shouting in the background.

‘Is everything OK?’

Caller, ‘Yeah, it’s fine. It’s just the firefighters evacuating the building.’

‘Shouldn’t you get out of there too?’

‘I HAVE to get this report printed.’

‘I don’t think it’s worth risking your life.’

The caller starts to get furious when the shouting in the background gets much louder. A firefighter starts barking orders at the guy to get out of the building. The caller tells the firefighter about the report. My dad hears the firefighter scream, “I don’t care about your report. The building is on fire! Now MOVE!

“There’s a scuffling noise and the phone. The other end drops to the ground as the firefighter physically drags the caller away. After that, all dad could hear was the sound of the fire alarm and crackling noises.”

An adult tried to climb into a baby swing, and got stuck. Credit: Shutterstock

27. Grow Up

“I’m not a firefighter, I’m a park ranger. But I once had to call the fire department to come and cut a teenager out of a baby swing in one of our parks. He tried to fit in the swing, and being an almost full grown adult he, of course, got stuck. They had to use giant clippers to get him out. The parks department charged his parents for the swing and the fire department charged them for a non-emergency rescue.”

This next story shows how you should never call 911 for a situation that is not an emergency, because you can be charged for it. The parents could have easily gotten their own clippers to release their son. But if the firefighters truly did need to save him, this is an example of how some people need to pay for their own stupidity.

This man tried to climb down a chimney as Santa, and it was a big mistake. Credit: Shutterstock

26. Santa Claus is Coming to Town

In the stories about Santa Claus, we get used to the legend of an old man coming down the chimney to leave presents under the tree. However, if you think about it, the reality of a man breaking into your house at night is actually pretty scary. In this next story, a man tried to play Santa and it backfired in a big way.

“Rescued a guy trying to surprise his girlfriend on Christmas by coming down the chimney completely unannounced. Her son noticed something was going on before she did. So he put a starter log in the fireplace and almost killed him had the smoke not started billowing out the fireplace into the living room. Poor guy went to all that trouble. I ran into her with a different guy by St. Patricks.”

Who knew that frozen fish were so dangerous? Credit: Shutterstock

25. A Fishy Situation

“This story comes from my father. In [the] 1980’s he was a young firefighter and got an unknown medical call. Him and his partner show up and a very concerned gay man answers the door. They ask what the problem is and the homeowner guides them to the bedroom where another man is in bed under the covers.

“His partner tells him to take the covers off and show the firefighters. He reluctantly removes the sheets to reveal a fishtail protruding from his rear end. They ask what happened and he said they used a frozen fish as a toy and it thawed out and the spiked dorsal fin was now latched in. My dad calls backup and the chief arrives at the house. He walks into the bedroom and assesses the situation and without missing a beat, says, ‘Son, you really need to learn to chew your food better.'”

This woman called in the fire department to identify her electronic device. Credit: Shutterstock

24. Too Much Information

“Heard this story from a friend. Emergency call comes in for a miscellaneous electrical hazard. Chief walks in and a woman tells him that the TV in the bedroom is making a weird noise. It’s turned off but there’s a low buzzing sound coming from the area. Chief unplugs the TV (which she didn’t think to do???) and the noise doesn’t stop. The tv is sitting on top of a chest of drawers so he opens up the top drawer and finds this woman’s toy – you know what kind I mean – just buzzing away. Super awkward.”

That story was mortifying. You would think that this woman would have known to check for that toy before she called the fire department…Unless she was hoping for some fantasy scenario she made up in her mind? Maybe she had been single for too long and was hoping for some attention. Like the author said, it’s just awkward in every sense of the word.

This person locked themself out of the car and had no idea how to easily get back in. Credit: Shutterstock

23. Unbelievable Dumb Drivers

In this next story, these people are so dumb, it’s hard to believe that it’s a real story. It might be believable that one person could be this clueless, but two? They must have been raised with a silver spoon in their mouth, because there is no way they could have been sent out in the world without such basic knowledge.

“I got called to a lockout. Get to the location and am met with ‘we just need a jump start’ and think, ok, wrong call. Get out the cables and ask them to pop the hood… ‘Oh, we can’t. We’re locked out.’ Driver is holding keys in hand. Passenger window is down. I started backing away assuming some kind of theft scam.

“They actually thought they were locked out because the key fob wasn’t unlocking the door. It turns out the fob battery had died. Showed them how to use the key after checking ID against the registration retrieved through the open window. Vehicle battery was not dead.”

These people roasted a pig in the bath tub and started a fire in the process. Credit: Shutterstock

22. Bathtub Pig Roast

“Not me, but my brother-in-law used to be a fireman in NYC. His worst story was when a bunch of Spanish-speaking people who didn’t speak a word of English had decided to have a pig roast …In an apartment building, in their bathtub. Naturally, the bath tub heated up the walls sufficiently that they started a roaring blaze. He said when he got there they were more interested in them saving the pig than putting out the fire.”

Normally, I would be upset that this author made such a big deal over the fact that they were Spanish-speaking. But in this case, it’s kind of mind-boggling. Is this a cultural difference? And without speaking the same language, it’s hard to explain to them why this is such a terrible idea.

These suburban moms tried hiking up a mountain with babies and called the fire department to rescue them. Credit: Shutterstock

21. Selfish Suburban Moms

In this story, we see how a group of stupid, selfish mothers called in the fire department for a situation that could have easily been prevented.

“Not a firefighter. But recently in San Diego a group of suburban moms decided to take their infants up the local hiking spot called Cowles Mountain. It’s not a particularly grueling hike as many children and elderly people can do it. However, there is a heat stroke warning posted at the trailhead. Not to mention it can get pretty hot here and this last week was no exception. Temperatures were exceeding 90 degrees. Well these morons took their infants up in this heat. The trail is pretty exposed and due to its easy accessibility and ‘instagram-worthiness’ lots of inexperienced hikers flock to it. Many times with little to no water because they underestimated how hot and difficult it could be.”

“Needless to say the fire department, EMS, and chopper were all called as these moms had taken their babies up and were too tired and exhausted to come down. The firefighters had to go up and give water, check their conditions and some even carried the babies down. I know fire’s are a lot hotter but I bet they were cursing out these moms in their heads as they had to hike up the mountain in pretty much full gear. The moms came strolling down laughing and flipping off the cameras as they were angry people were going to see their stupidity. This happened all because they wanted to take a group photo with their infants on a mountain on a hot day.”

This little girl locked herself in a bathroom and forced the fire department to save her. Credit: Shutterstock

20. Firefighters Even Deal With Potty Problems

The only source I could find for this story was found on an image site called MeMe. You almost don’t expect the twist, but it pops up in the end.

“Austin, TX, HEB, circa 1990. A little girl needs to use the toilet. She locks the door, manages to get onto the toilet and use it all by herself – she’s a big girl after all! But, the toilet is tall and getting down is scary.

“Better wait for mom to come help. Except, she can’t get in, because the little girl locked the door and is too scared of the five inches from her feet to the floor and so just sits there crying while sitting on the toilet. The firemen break down the door and the little girl is saved. Yep, I was a stupid kid.”

This man nearly refused to evacuate his family during Hurricane Floyd. Credit: Shutterstock

19. Better Safe Than Sorry

“I’m not a firefighter, but I used to do a lot of disaster response work. During Hurricane Floyd in Eastern NC, I had a farmer with a large family that refused to evacuate his house. Stubborn as anything. River had broken loose, floodwaters were coming up fast, and the police had given up on changing his mind. I drove my truck right up into his yard, rolled down the window and asked him to dress his kids in something orange or bright yellow. He asked me why and I said ‘So body recovery will be able to distinguish them from all the dead pigs floating around.’ He told me to get lost. But 5 minutes later he had the whole family in the vehicle and they got out.”

Growing up near a shore town, I completely understand this. So many people are used to surviving hurricanes, that they don’t take a flood warning seriously. It really takes a huge event like this for someone to snap out of it and realize that they need to evacuate when there is a massive flood warning going through your area.

Fireworks from a boat ended up causing a huge fire. Credit: Shutterstock

18. Don’t Play With Fireworks (Part 1)

Everyone loves fireworks on the 4th of July. But many people take it for granted, and they don’t realize just how much preparation goes into keeping everyone safe during the event. In this story, you’ll see how some idiots ruined the fun for everyone.

“So back in my Harbormaster days the town would have a 4th of July fireworks display. We would work together with the fire department to keep everything safe. The town would bring in a barge with something like 2,000 mortars on it. We, along with the Coast Guard, State Environmental Police and a few local cops with boats would set up a stay back area around the barge for the show. Nothing serious ever happened so we generally sat around with the best seats in the house.”

“So we are all sitting there celebrating our independence. I noticed a small fire on the front of the barge. So I give everyone a heads up on the radio. From a distance we see one of the crew run across this barge with a fire extinguisher in hand. The guy just throws the fire extinguisher into said fire and starts running back to where apparently they had a protected area. Before he makes it back there is a massive explosion. Everybody starts racing to get to the crew. That’s when the remaining fireworks started going off. We were the second ones to arrive, and one of the Assistant HM’s is yelling at the crew to get off the barge. There are dozens of fireworks going off, you can feel an intense heat every single time.”

I wonder how the onlookers felt during the fireworks disaster. Credit: Shutterstock

17. Don’t Play With Fireworks (Part 2)

“The crew is refusing to leave. One guy is yelling at my coworker that they can’t because all of their belongings were on the front of the barge, where the fireworks were exploding in their tubes. The look on my guy’s face was priceless. He just reached up and started pulling people down into his boat. I think by the time he grabbed the second guy they all got the message and started jumping in. We all bust out asap. Somehow the only injuries were minor from them jumping into the boat. Though I did hear that one of the coast guard boats made a nice hole in the roof, I never actually saw it. We then made a call to the tugboat that brought the barge to turn its water cannon.”

“But they refused, saying they weren’t going anywhere near the thing. The next option was the volunteer firefighters. The problem was that they didn’t have a fire boat, just trucks. So the possibly inebriated firefighters needed to commandeer the local three car ferry, and use that to get their truck to the barge. It took them about 30 minutes. It was a pretty funny sight watching them have a laugh about being on a ferry. We actually had to bring in the freaking bomb squad the next day. When we finally got the report, the fire was caused by, you guessed it. All of the crew’s belongings which were apparently sitting next to the mortars and not with them behind the barrier. The kicker was all of the company’s insurance and licenses were with their stuff. They were all gone too. Just all round fun in small town America.”

A little girl accidently got stuck inside of a cat tree. Credit: Shutterstock

16. Stuck in a Cat Tree

As we mentioned earlier, pretty much everyone has heard of firefighters rescuing a cat stuck in a tree. But sometimes, humans can get stuck too. This next story shows how dangerous cat toys can be. Don’t think they’re dangerous? Just keep reading to see. These firefighters needed to cut a young girl out of a cat tree when her mother couldn’t figure out how to remove the object from around her daughter’s body.

“An 8 year-old girl stuck up to her waist in one of those cat tree things with an enclosure in the bottom. The hole for the cat to get it was exactly the width of her waist. Once she got her arms in, she got them twisted up in such a way that she couldn’t push herself out, and her mom couldn’t pull her out. We ended up cutting it apart around her with Raptor shears, since those things are mostly just cardboard and carpet stapled together. By far the funniest call I’ve ever responded to.”

The pie in the oven ended up being the source of this fire fighting problem. Credit: Shutterstock

15. So Many Levels of Stupid

“I was called to a home to get a pie out of the oven before it caught fire. The lady went to the store and was delayed for some reason. She called 911 to have the fire department take the pie out of the oven and place it on the stove. The call came in as ‘Fire hazard: something stuck in the oven and unable to turn off the stove’. So we broke into a woman’s house and caused probably thousands of dollars worth of damage, all so she wouldn’t burn her pie. Still my dumbest call in 32 years.”

Wow, that story was so many levels of stupid. First, the irresponsibility and selfishness of the woman who called 911 to have a pie removed instead of just going home herself. Secondly, the person who completely misunderstood the call and told the firefighters the wrong information.

This old man was stuck in his armchair for so long, firefighters had to save him. Credit: Shutterstock

14. Lazy, or Just Plain Stupid?

“Me and my dad are both firefighters. My dad said one time they went to a house because an elderly man could not get out of the leather recliner because he had been sitting in it for a week straight. His wife would just serve him drinks and food and the guy never got up. He just kept doing his business in the chair until he was physically stuck to the chair and they had to cut him out.”

That story is actually really sad. The old man was probably in pain, and couldn’t move due to a medical issue. But he continued to sit in the chair, and his wife enabled him to keep going instead of calling an ambulance or getting him to a doctor.

This cub scout accidently got involved in a firefighter situation. Credit: Shutterstock

13. Close to the Source

“Not a firefighter, but this happened to my son when he was 6. He was at a Cub Scout meeting which was next door to the fire station. The firefighters had these racks where they’d lay their hoses out to dry (I think?). The little scouts were climbing on those racks one day and my son’s chubby leg slipped between the bars and got stuck. The firefighters had to come use the Jaws of Life on their own racks to free my kid.”

Wow, this is a lot of levels of irresponsibility. Why were the scout leaders and the parents allowing the kids to play on the firefighter racks? And where were the firefighters themselves? A lot of adults had to be sleeping on the job in order for this to happen. At the very least, they didn’t have to travel far to save the kid!

This man spilled multiple gas cans by accident, and thought fire was a good idea. Credit: Shutterstock

12. Gas Plus Fire is a Huge Disaster

This story speaks for itself. It’s yet another one that is so ridiculous, it belongs in a movie.

“I used to work in a NYC public grammar school over the summers to pay for college back in the 90’s. One of the full time employees was a nice guy but stupid. And I don’t mean he was slow or anything, he just did dumb stuff because he was careless. One time he loaded up a trailer with like 25 gallons of gas and was driving it back through the main school parking lot. He didn’t realize that container cracked open and spilled all 25 gallons in the parking lot. This guy didn’t want to get in trouble so he thought the best way to get rid of the evidence was TO SET THE GAS ON FIRE.

“He didn’t realize that burning gas gives off a LOT of black smoke and a gigantic cloud of black smoke coming from a school generally attracts a lot of attention from first responders. Panicking, he tries to put the flaming lake of gas out by DRIVING OVER IT WITH HIS CAR. The fire department gets there, screaming at him to stop driving his car through flaming gasoline. They finally got the fire out and just… Screamed at this guy for like 25 minutes. It was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.”

These firefighters were called to rescue a bird who was stuck in a tree. Credit: Shutterstock

11. A Bird in a Tree. What a Novel Idea.

You wouldn’t think people would call firefighters to report a bird in a tree, but here you go. “Former Fire and Rescue Firefighter here. I have helped release several dogs and children stuck in the mechanism part of a recliner chair. Also a bird stuck in a tree, go figure. Didn’t know what to think when we received the call. We proceeded to the address to see a bird, you guessed it, in a tree. It was the highest palm tree I’ve ever seen.

“This one guy on our crew loved to play the hero. So of course with the ladies looking he wanted to do the heroic act, we said, ‘Ok, Sunshine, have at it.’ We put the ladder out and off he went to rescue this bird. It turns out the bird had its leg caught in one of the palms. I should also add that a wild bird stuck in a tree in a state of pure panic is going to be ticked off. At the time, I don’t know what was louder: the bird squawking and biting him, his screams, or us on the ground laughing. Got it out, the bird was fine, and our guy was scratched up to bits.”

Firefighters got free egg rolls out of their deal. Credit: Shutterstock

10. Not Every Call Needs to be a Tragedy

“My dad was a firefighter in NYC and once responded to a call at a Chinese food restaurant where the owner’s walkway was iced over. He apparently didn’t speak very good English and maybe misunderstood the job of a fireman? Genuinely don’t know. They threw salt on his front walkway for him and explained that this was 100% not their job.

“The crew all had a good laugh and the guy gave them all free egg rolls. People always used to ask him questions about crazy calls and he never enjoyed talking about that so he would always tell that story. Happened in ’99 still makes me laugh to this day 20 years later.”

A convict tried holding on to a small ice burg to float to freedom. Credit: Shutterstock

9. An Icy Failed Getaway

“Had a fellow who was running from the police. He decided to climb on board a chunk of ice that was flowing down the river. I am sure he thought he was a genius at the time, but the issue is that there isn’t really a whole lot north of our town for a few hundred miles, so his long term planning wasn’t great. Eventually we found him hiding in a small icy overhang on the side of the river suffering from hypothermia. After a brief stay in hospital he ended up being arrested.”

Wow, that was stupid. Maybe the escape plan seemed smart in his mind at the time. But there is only so far you can get with hypothermia.

This woman was so scared of a spider, she lit her apartment on fire. Credit: Shutterstock

8. Spider Overkill

There is a running joke about the solution spiders in a house is to “burn it all down”. But in this story, the girl took the advice way too literally.

“My roommate Dave was a firefighter. One day, he comes home looking exhausted. We could smell the smoke, so we knew he had seen some action. I asked him about it, and he got a sad but humored look in his eye. An instagram model has set her apartment building on fire by filling her room with candles for some photo shoots. She would pretend to be doing yoga in the middle of hundreds of candles. But she saw a spider sitting on one of the lit candles… So she sprayed some Raid on it. The room pretty much ignited extremely quickly and, in her fear, she threw the bottle of Raid at the fire, and then hid in her shower across the hall.”

“The girl was still in the apartment when Dave kicked in the door and carried her out. Her apartment was engulfed in flames. She was close to passing out from smoke inhalation, so Dave had to cradle her in his arms. As he carries her to the window to be lowered on a ladder, she says, ‘wait’. Dave stops, thinking she is about to tell him about someone else that needs rescuing. She meekly lifts her phone and snaps a selfie, making the duck face and everything, flames in the background. Apparently by the time he left, the Instagram model had posted the photo to her profile and it was already getting tons of likes. From what I hear, though, she DID kill the spider. So technically she wasn’t a TOTAL moron.”

An old woman was demanding attention, so she called the fire department. Credit: Shutterstock

7. Attention Seeking Is Not Above Fire Safety

“I’m not a firefighter, but my brother’s wife was. There was this massive structure fire at a barn in town that drew out nearly every truck in the general area. During all of this, there was some lady who continuously called 911 asking over and over again- ‘What’s going on at the farm up the road?’ This woman would have to be a complete moron, because the fire could be seen for miles. Fast forward later into the night and one of the ambulances suddenly leaves. Obviously not normal for this sort of situation. As things are finally starting to calm down, one of the volunteers on the original ambulance comes over in his own car. He tells them that there is a woman who called the ambulance and requires a lift assist, but absolutely REFUSES to let the EMTs do it. No no, it has to be a firefighter.

My brother’s wife goes with the man to see what’s up. Apparently, it was the same woman who had called 911 over and over again and when they arrived. She was lying on the floor absolutely wailing. EMTs say they can’t find anything wrong. But with her requested firefighter they are finally able to get this woman up. They start asking her what happened, hoping she might be more willing to share. She said, ‘I was just feeling a little ignored. I figured this would get your attention.’ I know she got in major trouble for abusing 911. But from what I hear from the people on both fire and ambulance, she has made a habit of calling for help whenever she feels she’s not getting enough attention.

A kinky night in a batman costume lead to an embarrassing incident. Credit: Shutterstock

6. A Little Too Much Fun

“We get a call from a guy about cries for help coming from his neighbor’s house. The neighbor called 911. We roll up lights and sirens and sure enough, there’s a lady calling for help out the upstairs bedroom window.

‘Ma’am, we’re with the fire department, are you injured?’

‘No, it’s my husband, he’s unconscious, please hurry.’

‘Is he breathing?’

‘Yes, I think so.’

‘Can you let us in?’

‘No, just break down the door.’

“So we break down the front door and rush upstairs to the master bedroom only to be greeted by the woman, naked, chained spread eagle to the bed with her husband out cold on the floor, wearing nothing but a Batman cape and mask. Evidently, during their kinky playtime, he had climbed up on a dresser, and was going to jump onto the bed, but slipped in some lube and knocked himself out cold. She was secured tight to the bed and unable to free herself and since this was the mid 1980’s, there was no way to ask Siri or Alexa to call for help. We loaded him up for a trip to the hospital and cut her loose so she could get dressed and join him. He made a full recovery.”

During a bad snow storm, firefighters had to rescue a truck driver from fallen trees. Credit: Shutterstock

5. Deadly Trees

“We needed to close the main connection through a forest over the winter because the trees were falling faster on the road than we could remove them due to way too much snow falling. Also the redirection was more than an hour longer due to the snow. Some cars thought that they would come through but turned around as soon as they saw the trees on the road.

“One semi also thought he’d get through. He drove up to the trees and called the fire brigade and complained why we didn’t remove the trees. As he was calling a bunch of trees behind him also fell, locking him in. It stood there one month before the trees and the snow could get removed by us so that at least the semi can back out. We needed another month until the road was free again.”

A man decided to pull out his video camera to capture his house burning down. Credit: Shutterstock

4. Smile For the Camera

“I once had a firefighter tell me he almost died in a house fire while going back into the house to look for the owner. A neighbor was concerned about why the firefighter was still in the residence so he asked another firefighter. This is about how the exchange went:

Neighbor: Why is that fireman still in the house?

Firefighter: He’s looking for the owner of the home.

Neighbor: He is right over there with the video camera.

“Turns out the owner did not think it was important to alert the fire department he was out of the house. Instead, he was just taking a video of the whole event. The fire started because the owner had tried to smother his barbecue cooker flame with leftover wood from the siding that had been installed on his home. Somehow, the owner did not realize it would burn. Burned his whole house down.”

After their cat screamed for help, this couple ended up having a false firefighter call. Credit: Shutterstock

3. Cats Do The Darnedest Things

“I was the dumb call. My cat got her paw stuck under the dishwasher, and was screaming. I couldn’t move her paw and I couldn’t lift the machine, so I sat with her while my husband called the fire department. She chewed right through one of my favorite blankets in her stress.

“Firefighters arrived, not in full suits but heavy boots and pants. Soon as they came around the corner to the kitchen our cat miraculously was able to free her paw and take off to hide in the bathroom. The guys seemed confused, but at least it was easy? We thanked them profusely for being scary enough to free our cat, who had zero physical damage (not even a broken claw). I guess she’d hooked her claws on something and didn’t want to let it go for love or money.”

A woman put her kids in a row boat for a photo, and they almost floated away. Credit: Shutterstock

2. Babies Just Floating Away

“Former firefighter/EMT. Easily the dumbest person I encountered was a mother of 4 who decided it would be an awesome idea to get a Facebook/Instagram worthy picture of her kids (all under age 10) sitting in a rowboat. Mother untied it from the dock and thought she’d just pull them back with the rope… That she forgot to hold on to. They floated a half mile down the river before the two oldest boys managed to grab a branch hanging over the bank.

“It was really surreal to see 4 young kids, all in matching clothing, sitting in a boat waiting to be rescued. I have no clue what happened after, but they were physically fine, just scared, a little tired but the mom was in full blown panic mode and kept getting in our way. I hope she’s making better choices now.”

A little boy got his fingers stuck in the bath tub, and grew up to become a firefighter. Credit: Shutterstock

1. The MacGyver of Rescue Situations

“We got a call about a little kid stuck in a bathtub. Nobody could make heads or tails of how a child can get physically stuck in a bathtub, so we rocked up in one of our engines and had a look. What had happened was that the child, almost three years old, had been left in the bath to play while it drained. The drain had a screwed-down sieve in it, with five holes. Kiddo had five fingers, and must have thought it a good idea to jam them into said holes. Of course, they swelled up and got stuck. So now we had a kid attached to a bathtub drain, and no way to get at the screw holding him there. A buddy and I were sent down to get: ear plugs, dog plushie, spare helmet, safety goggles, angle grinder (gas-powered), and a large hammer.

“We filled the tub back up a bit, enough so the kiddo’s hand was covered in water for cooling. We gave him the plushie, with instructions to make sure it doesn’t get wet, gave him ear plugs and a Real Life Fireman’s Helmet, and went to town. Four quick cuts around the drain hole, then bash in the tiles, and finally another cut through the drain. We then transported the boy/tub hybrid to the hospital, since the fingers had become quite blue, and we didn’t want to induce tourniquet removal syndrome without access to proper medical care. The little guy joined the youth fire department as soon as he was old enough, we must have left a good impression.”