Totally Innocent Things That Triggered Emergency Responses

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by Jordan Breeding

Without emergency response teams, a lot more things would explode, mild wounds would turn to gangrene, and there’d be nobody to call if you've had a dose of a freaky ghost. But as great as emergency responders are, there is such a thing as responding too hard. Or in these cases, at all.


Police Spend Eight Hours Investigating A “Murder Scene” That Was Actually A Movie Set

After being a police chief for 35 years, J.R. Blyth had seen some gruesome things. He’d witnessed everything from horrific murders to other horrific murders. But in all that time, nothing could prepare him for what lay in store at the George Washington Hotel.

A fire had started in the hotel laundry room, and police needed to be on scene to investigate. Aside from some smoke inhalation, nobody was seriously injured. Normally, that would have been the end of it, but during their investigation the police found an entire room covered in blood, bottles of alcohol and even “bits of scalp.” So basically just a bit worse than the average college student's dorm room.

Blyth, being a professional, immediately switched his team’s focus to what could only have been the scene of a brutal murder. His hunch turned out to be correct ... sort of. Someone had tried to use the hotel to perform a killing, but they were sort of hoping it’d be at the box office. Director BC Furtney had rented out the room two years prior to shoot a scene for his terrible horror movie, Do Not Disturb (originally titled New Terminal Hotel). As an added twist, the film also starred Corey Haim as the perfectly-named Jasper Crash. Don’t feel bad if you haven’t seen it -- one reviewer claimed: "Watching it made me feel like an unwilling participant in someone else’s extremely depressing crack-induced nightmare.” So apparently it’s a spiritual successor to Snowboard Academy.

Image Entertainment

Image Entertainment

It's pretty much the same movie.

But Blyth obviously didn’t know that at the time, and he was a bit distracted by the bits of brain lying around everywhere. And, in fact, nobody told him until after his team had been there for a solid eight freaking hours of overtime. In the span of an entire working day, nobody ever noticed that the blood was fake, even though that’s a pretty essential part of the whole detective thing.

Eventually the hotel’s owner, Kyrk Pyros (also an amazing name), wandered down to the basement to see what was going on, and he apparently couldn’t stop smiling. This pissed off the coroner who couldn’t find the humor in standing shin deep in dead human stuff, so Pyros had to explain that they’d left the room untouched for two years just in case they needed to do reshoots on this movie that appears to have had a budget of $67 and one Corey Haim.

Police Get Into Stand-Offs With Cardboard Cutouts ... More Than Once

When police are suddenly thrust into a life or death situation, there’s not a lot of time to sit around and decide what to do. In worst case scenarios, it can be like the first five minutes of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds when everybody’s running around firing random weapons. Chaos, basically. And unlike PUBG players, police aren’t allowed to just haphazardly beat anybody they see with a cast iron skillet, so they’re sometimes forced to simultaneously play it safe and ensure a potentially dangerous situation isn’t escalated. Sometimes that leads to long, contracted stand-offs with highly threatening cardboard cutouts.

In Canada, the crime rate has been plummeting for years, so the police are mostly just there to help people not spill maple syrup or poutine or whatever. But when the Toronto police received a phone call about a person with a gun, they were likely a little more high strung and cautious. Fortunately, their training paid off, and they were able to take down the criminal without incident, largely because he was an Arnold Schwarzenegger cutout from Terminator.

Orion Pictures

Orion Pictures

Even in cardboard form, it weighed 240 pounds.

But that’s nothing compared to what happened in New Jersey. A tripped alarm at a bank prompted the use of several SWAT teams for what they assumed was a robbery. Once they closed in on the bank, it was clear that there was at least one perpetrator inside. They used bullhorns and telephone calls to reason with the hardened bank robber for three hours to no avail. If the police wanted him, it was go time.

They breached the building and found that their criminal was a five foot tall cardboard cutout of a bank lady.

A Hazmat Team Was Called In To Disneyland Because Of Pooping Geese

If a Hazmat team is called in, it’s usually a big deal. They specialize in the detection and removal of hazardous materials that could cause serious harm to anybody without the proper equipment or training. So while you might expect them to rush to help clean an industrial chemical spill, they’re usually less worried about that meatloaf you’ve left in the fridge since the 90s. But in 2017, the Anaheim Hazmat team was called in to deal with a severe outbreak of one of the most toxic substances known to man: Goose diarrhea.

Disneyland guests watched in horror as Mickey Mouse and friends were inundated by waves upon waves of flying poop. A flock of geese had apparently coordinated their bowel movements to release at the exact moment they flew over the happiest place on earth. Their scat bombing campaign pelted 11 adults and 6 children, and we seriously need to stop laughing at that mental image.



It's basically the plot to Fantasia 2000.

The weirdest part of it all (and the reason Hazmat was ultimately called) is that nobody really realized they were covered in goose poop. When the police were called, they were told that a human was running around chucking human feces at guests. Wait, is that a thing? Where would this person be hiding exactly? Did he just chuck handfuls of poop off the top of Splash Mountain?

Hazmat had apparently been called to make sure there weren’t still toxic traces of Taco Bell in the feces. Once it was determined that all the crap had originated from geese, Disney provided The Afflicted with a private restroom and clean clothes. As if any amount of soap could wash away the fear of random airborne turd strikes.

A Miniature Train Crash Almost Got A Medical Helicopter Brought In

Before Xbox and screaming obscenities at internet strangers, people had to get creative with their hobbies. Sometimes that meant getting drunk and building the pyramids, but for others it meant building smaller, model versions of machines like trains. And although full-sized train crashes can be horrific, most model train accidents probably won’t do much more than piss off your crotchety grandpa who told you a hundred times not to touch his stuff. That’s why it’s so surprising that when British emergency services heard there had been a few injuries in a “miniature train accident,” their immediate reaction was to try to send a huge-ass medicopter. Medichopper? Helidoctor? A medical helicopter.



This thing.

Unfortunately, the weather was too nasty to actually send one, but they still sent two ambulances and a police escort barreling toward the scene of the accident. When they arrived, expecting the worst, they found a bunch of amused train enthusiasts and three mildly injured morons who’d accidentally fallen off the little train. Nobody understood why the responders were so frantic, because of course they wouldn’t.

Actually, they'd been a bit frantic because the dispatcher had heard somebody say something about a “military train accident,” which you may recognize as a much larger deal. Thankfully, because the extremely expensive helicopter wasn’t launched, the whole ordeal was just sort of laughed off.

Cops Blew Up A Pesto Sandwich

Sandwiches can either be pretty good or from Subway, but they usually don’t cross the paths of emergency responders outside of lunch. Even the worst sandwiches probably aren’t worth getting very upset over -- they're certainly not worth exploding with a bomb.

But that’s exactly what happened in London in 2016. Police decided to move in on a bus station after receiving several reports of a “suspicious package”. Nobody had looked inside, but they were pretty sure whatever was in there could kill everybody. Because nondescript sidewalks are an oft-used location for random explosives. The police apparently agreed and, unwilling to take any chances, called in a bomb squad to deal with the brown paper bag that they assumed was full of dynamite. And by “deal with,” we mean they evacuated the street and then blew the bag all to hell.

It's what you get for not ordering ham.

It was a controlled explosion, and it was supposed to harmlessly defuse the package, but they kind of botched it. Witnesses reported pesto and bread being splattered all across shop windows in the area. So, good thing it wasn’t lasagna, or the whole block would have been covered in Italian napalm.

A Russian Bomb Squad Was Called In To Defuse A Vibrator

Very few people decide to work at a post office for the exciting work environment. Most of your job is shipping pretty typical stuff like birthday cards or anonymous hate mail directed at internet comedy writers, because they haven’t figured out how email works. That said, there have been a few high-profile instances when people have attempted to mail something truly awful through the mail like anthrax or bombs. So maybe it’s not entirely surprising that when a Russian postal worker in Petrozavodsk heard a “strange ticking sound” from one of the boxes he was handling, he immediately called the police.

Not wanting to take any chances, the entire building was evacuated. Once everybody had safely left the premises, the bomb squad got to work. They entered the building, found the package in question, and cautiously approached with all the care and attention to detail that you'd expect from explosive disposal veterans.

Hey, is that the guy from Bioshock?

But that postal worker probably should have inspected the package just a little bit closer before he called. It would have saved the bomb squad the indignity of trying to defuse a vibrator. Apparently the sex toy had been switched on by accident during shipping. As serious as the situation was (before finding out what was inside the box), we have to salute the person who sent that package, because it brought the best joke from Fight Club into reality.

Like this article? Check out "5 Heists So Bizarre, They Sound Made Up" and "4 Ridiculous Scams We Feel Guilty For Laughing At".

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