Real Or Fake: Can Ordering Pizza From 911 Save Your Life?


Our KELOLAND News segment “Real or Fake,” looks into posts that circulate on your social media feed to find out if they are legitimate or not.

The latest one is about a secret 911 pizza code to let dispatchers know that you’re in trouble.

911 dispatchers get all kinds of calls, but do they ever get a call from someone who appears to be ordering a pizza?

It has happened before where somebody is pretending to order a pizza and actually they’re in the middle of an emergency situation where they can’t talk,” Metro Communications Justin Faber said.

The legend of the “Secret 911 Pizza” call has been circulating on social media for years. 

According to posts like these, “If you need to call 911, but are scared to because of someone in the room, dial and ask for a pepperoni pizza.”

The post claims the dispatcher will ask if you know you’re dialing 911, and if you say “yes,” the dispatcher will know what to do.

These posts say that dispatchers will know if you order mushrooms he’s drunk, or if you order onions you’re being threatened with sexual assault. It also claims that different toppings are code for an attacker’s physical description. That’s fake.

“There’s a little bit of embellishing going on there. We don’t necessarily train to be that specific. What we try to train is adaptability. When we take a 911 call, don’t make any assumptions. If it’s an open line, part of our procedure is, ‘if you can hear me push a button.’ Maybe they’re in a position where they can’t talk,” Faber said.

“911. Where’s the emergency?” dispatcher on phone said.

“127 Bremier,” woman on phone said.

“Ok, what’s going on there,” dispatcher said.

“I’d like to order a pizza for delivery,” woman said.

The story may sound familiar because a ‘No More’ 2015 Super Bowl ad helped perpetuate it.

911 Dispatchers say while there is no formal secret pizza code training, they are trained to listen and ask questions and to not immediately assume the call is a prank. They tell us if someone is in trouble, they don’t necessarily need to disguise the call as a pizza order, but they do need to allow 911 to get their location.

“Anyway you can give us information is going to work; whether you’re ordering a pizza, pretending to call a relative, whether you just remain silent and push a button. The dispatcher is going to be able to work through it,” Faber said.

The state is currently working on a system to enable you to text to 911. The hope is to have that up and running by the end of the year.


Click here for a link to the original story on the Super Bowl abuse commercial. 

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