Imagine that you've fallen, had a terrible accident or been abducted, and your only lifeline is 911. What happens if you call and can't get the help you need or emergency personnel are sent to the wrong address?America's 911 system handles nearly 240 million calls per year, and the growing number of dispatch disasters can be a matter of life or death.


To watch a video clip from this show visit the Official Dr. Phil Show YouTube page.


Correction: The Dr. Phil show was misinformed regarding information on statewide standardized training for 911 operators in this show. We have since learned that the state of Vermont 911 Board requires 48 hours of classroom training and 8 to 16 hours of equipment training for all call takers and dispatchers. In addition, public safety answering points require approximately 480 hours (up to six months) of on-the-job training.  All trainers in Vermont are certified by nationally recognized organizations, like APCO and others. We would like to acknowledge all the hard work 911 dispatchers do on a daily basis.



A Tragic Outcome
Edward and Ada lost their loved one, Olidia, to a murder-suicide in a police station parking lot after what they say was a botched 911 call. Edward says his mom's death could have been prevented, and Ada believes the operator was rude to her sister in the final moments before her murder.


Find out the most important information you need when calling for help. 



Betrayed By the System?
Nathan's wife, Denise Amber Lee, was abducted, and a series of 911 calls " even one placed by Denise herself " failed to save the young mom's life. Jane, a witness to Denise's abduction, was on the line with 911 for more than nine minutes … but police were never dispatched.

"We could hear this screaming. It was a very high-pitched scream."




Picking Up the Pieces

Nathan says he's angry with the system and has trouble explaining Denise's death to their two young sons. What can the grieving father do to move past the pain?


Find out how Nathan was able to transform tragedy into triumph. 


Tying Up the Line


As many as 25 percent of calls coming into 911 call centers are for non-emergencies. Even worse, many of them are prank calls.


Learn what constitutes a genuine emergency.