How the Dispatcher saved the Day

Oct 05, 2009

RAY: An old guy is driving home. It's late at night. He's be-bopping along the highway and he's some considerable distance from home. Suddenly, he feels himself having a heart attack. He says, "Oh my God. It's the big one." Thinking quickly, he takes the first available exit.

As luck would have it, he winds up in a residential neighborhood. It's very late at night. He pulls over to the side of the road behind some parked cars. He's fading fast, but he has the presence of mind to pull out his cell phone and call 911.

He says to the dispatcher, "I need help. I'm having a heart attack."

TOM: And she says, "Where are you?"

RAY: And the conversation goes something like this: "I don't know where I am."

"What exit did you take?"

"I don't remember."

"Were you going north or south or east?"

"I don't remember."

"Can you tell me what street you're on?"

"I'm in the middle of the block. I'm parked. I didn't see any street signs." She says,

TOM: "Boy, are you screwed!"

RAY: Not quite. She says, "Start blowing the horn. Someone will come out of the house."

No one comes out. She then asks him to do one more thing. Minutes later, an ambulance is on its way there and saves his life.

What did she ask him to do?

RAY: Here's the answer. Now this isn't 100% guaranteed that it's going to work, but it's the only thing that would work. What she asked him to do was to give her the license plate number of the car that he's parked behind.

TOM: Ah.

RAY: She was figuring that the owner of the car lives right there.

TOM: Sure. It's a residential neighborhood, and it's late at night.

RAY: So who's our winner man?

TOM: Wow. That's good. Our winner this week is Kevin Croak from Saint Louis, Missouri, and for having his answer selected at random from among all the correct answers that we got, Kevin's going to get a $26 gift certificate to the Shameless Commerce Division at Car with which Kevin can get himself a set of our brand new Car Talk reusable shopping bags.

RAY: Congratulations Kevin!

Get the Car Talk Newsletter