Friday, October 30, 2009

9-1-1 Call of the Week

me: 911 What is your emergency?

her: turn on Cnn right now. Angelina Jolie is on there talking all about it.

me: i actually don't have a tv here in the dispatch center. what's she talking about?

her: she's talking about a movie about to come out that's about my life.

me: what do you mean...about your life.

her: in short: I am Angelina jolie.

At this point, I knew I had a CIT call. The young woman on the other end of the line was having a break from reality, but I didn't quite know where this was going.

her: just get a cop here right now. my father is coming. he's coming to rape me and he's been doing it all my life. this time he'll probably kill me.

me: where is your father right now?

her: at the store

me: and he's on his way over there right now?

her: yes. listen just turn it to cnn and you'll find out all about it. there's a movie

me: I can't get to cnn right now, tell me what they are saying?

her: it's me, it's angelina jolie and she's talking about a movie that's based on my life. the main character is based on my life and i'm playing her.

There were a couple times in here I had to put her on hold because I couldn't figure out which direction the delusions were taking. She thought she was Angelina Jolie but at the same time she answered to her real name and gave me her real address and phone number. She believed she was Angelina Jolie on CNN talking about a movie in which the main character was raped by her father and that the character was based on her real life.

The real dialogue was much more circular than this, but up until this point, I was asking her to confirm and reconfirm her address and phone number. The purpose of this was to shift her attention away from the schzophrenic break, and calm her down by creating a rhythm of question and answer to simple questions. The rhythm itself, and I'm not sure if there's any research on this, seems to help calm people down==repeating things they know and say in a certain rhythm whenever they are asked ie address, phone numbers etc.

me: is there anyone else in the house with you?

her: no. but my father watches. he watches the house and he knows when the cops come.

me: where is he right now?

Her: I don't know. but he has an explosive explosive temper. he can be very violent. and he always watches.

me: tell me a little bit about what's been going on today. earlier you were saying there was something about a movie on cnn? when did you start watching cnn today?

her: oh man. it's on commercial now. if you'd been watching you'd know. you'd know. we are going to make cinematic history...cinematic history.

From time to time she'd repeat a phrase like that for emphasis. She sounded very intelligent. She had a strong vocabulary and she used little rhetorical strategies like repetition and even pitch changes and interesting sentence construction to emphasize her point.

The trouble was her point was so disjointed that it was frustrating her to try and get it across and it was confounding to anyone trying to draw a linear conclusion from it--other than "o what a noble mind is here o'er thrown."

her: Here's the thing the character that comes in at the end is so sublte that...well let's just say that the people who know what I'm talking about are probably laughing their heads off right now. Cinematic History.

In the end, paramedics and officers arrived and I stayed on the phone with her until she was satisfied that the people knocking on her front door were the police and not someone pretending to be the police. Not, perhaps, my best call, that one was also a CIT call a couple months back, but, still a good one.

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