New to Montana? Instead of 911, Try Calling the Newcomer Hotline
Wacky 911 calls have been happening forever.
You've probably laughed at some of the funniest that have been compiled on the internet, like these examples from People.com. Among the hilarity, is the story of a mom who called 911 after opening a delivery that contained styrofoam packing peanuts. Her son is allergic to peanuts and she was freaking out. Pretty dumb, right?
911 operators in Montana field some interesting calls as well. For example, a call came in last week in northwestern Montana that made the police blotter, according to a Tweet from the Flathead Beacon.
"Go back to Texas!"
No word on what the 911 dispatcher told the caller, but I imagine it went something like, "I'm sorry, there is nothing police can do sir/ma'am, but have you considered getting Montana plates on your vehicle?" These types of calls are clearly a waste of emergency call center resources, so I'm proposing a special hotline for new Montana residents.
New to the state and have a question? Just call the hotline!
My proposed hotline would offer distraught, confused, or angry newcomers a 24-hour helpline when they encounter something "Montana" they don't understand. Of course, there would be a series of automated prompts to help you reach the correct operator. I envision it going something like this...
"Thank you for calling the Montana Newcomer Hotline! Please listen carefully to the following options."
- *Press 1* if you are getting yelled at and/or flipped off for out-of-state plates. This option would direct you to the nearest courthouse, with detailed instructions to ditch those CA, WA, OR, and TX plates ASAP.
- *Press 2* if winter is freaking you out. You will be immediately redirected to a local moving company to help coordinate your move somewhere warmer.
- *Press 3* if this is your first fire season. Our summer skies are usually completely filled with smoke from wildfires but trust me, the 911 dispatcher doesn't want to hear about it. Press 3 instead and we'll tell you why it's smokey.
- *Press 4* if you have no clue about farming and ranching. Upset by the smell of a nearby feedlot? Losing your mind because of dust from a farmer's field near your McMansion subdivision? Calm down, newcomer Karen! Press 4 and we'll slowly explain how agriculture works.
- *Press 5* if you wish Montana was more like (fill in your home state). If you really enjoy it here but wish it was more like wherever the heck you came from, pressing 5 will promptly send one of our representatives to your home or work to slap you across the face.
I'm clearly joking about all of this. If you are new to Montana, welcome! But seriously... don't call 911 with your dumb newbie questions.
Top 10 Stories in 2022 by Michael Foth on Billings Mix 97.1 FM