A 911 dispatcher in Lafayette, Ind., is receiving praise after she took the time to talk a young caller through an emergency — with his math homework.
It was Jan. 14 when Antonia Bundy, who works with the Lafayette Police Department, answered a call from a young boy who told her he “had a really bad day” at school and was loaded “tons of homework.”
In an audio recording released by the department on Friday, Bundy can be heard calmly helping the youngster with a math problem he described as “so hard.”
“I had a really bad day and I just … I don’t know,” the caller began.
“You had a bad day at school?,” Bundy responds. “What happened at school that made you have a bad day? Is there a problem I can help you with?”
After a few questions, the dispatcher was able to narrow the homework emergency to a case of being bad at adding and subtracting fractions. She then walks the boy step by step to help solve the equation 3/4 + 1/4.
The boy gladly thanks Bundy for her help before hanging up the phone.
“I’m sorry for calling you, but I really needed help,” he said.
Bundy responded: “No, you’re fine. We’re always here to help.”
LPD Chief Pat Flannelly said he was blown away by Bundy’s willingness to help. Though homework help isn’t the best use of 911, Flannelly lauded the dispatcher for her patience with the young boy and her efforts to brighten his day.
“I was really really impressed with Antonia,” Flannelly told the Lafayette Journal & Courier. “It can be a hard and busy job down there, and for her to recognize that the boy was stressed and needed someone to talk to, it was heartwarming to listen to her approach with him.”
Bundy even earned herself some extra credit when she “solved the math problem to boot,” the police chief added.
According to Police Sgt. Matt Gard, dispatchers receive hundreds of emergency calls a day but the Jan. 14 call came during a time when the department’s dispatch center wasn’t very busy. He told NBC News that operators receive “oddball requests” from time to time, but calling to ask for homework help is a new one.
“I’ve been in law enforcement for 13 years, and I don’t know I’ve ever heard of this happening,” he said.
Gard said the caller, whom LPD hasn’t identified, placed the call from a cellphone that is only able to call 911.
Listen to the 911 call below.
Our dispatchers never know what the next call might be.They train for many emergency situations, homework help is not one they plan for. We don't recommend 911 for homework help but this dispatcher helped a young boy out and brightened his day.@PoliceOne @apbweb @wlfi @WTHRcom pic.twitter.com/w3qCYfJP7O
— LafayetteINPolice (@LafayetteINPD) January 25, 2019