Chicken-Fried News: Quakebusters?


Feel that trembling?! Who ya gonna call?

Well, unless you’re in need of immediate and direct personal assistance, hopefully not 911.

A report by News 9 stated that the Edmond 911 emergency dispatch center received more than 400 calls within the first hour of the 4.2 magnitude earthquake felt Aug. 2 in and outside of Edmond. While many callers were clearly shaken (literally, even), few actually needed police, fire or medical services.

“It’s horrible! It’s shaking down our house,” one caller exclaimed.

“Yes, ma’am,” the dispatcher replied. “We felt it, too.”

“They have to stop!” the caller continued. “Stop this fracking! It has to stop!”

“Ma’am, we don’t have anything to do with the fracking, OK?” the dispatcher answered.

Though it could be argued that the use of wastewater injection wells is an emergency, it is hardly one that the fine folks at the dispatching center can help alleviate. A call might be more appropriately placed with one’s favorite science-skeptical state legislator.

Of course, this is probably not the first time the dispatch center in Edmond has received calls that weren’t related to urgent emergency response. This Chicken-Fried News writer is imagining soccer moms calling to report teens having “too much fun” on a skateboard or that Super Target is out of sweet potatoes.

While 911 is certainly something that should be reserved for first-responder requests, Jennifer Wagnon, public information specialist for the Edmond Police Department, also does not want people to be hesitant to call the number either.

“We don’t want to be in the business of discouraging people from calling 911 if they feel like there is a need,” Wagnon told News 9. “In those situations, we want to try to eliminate the non-emergency calls in that situation and just have it solely be for emergency purposes.”

We here at Chicken-Fried News certainly hope legitimate earthquake-related calls to 911 are not necessary anytime in the near future.

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