TRANSCRIPTS: 9/11 Emergency Calls

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Monday, September 5, 2022
'Eyewitness to 9/11: Behind the Lens' Official Trailer
On the 20th anniversary of 9/11, we hear from the Eyewitness News journalists who were there, in the streets, in the air, and in the newsroom, reporting on the events as the tragedy unfolded, capturing the unforgettable video of that day, and risking their lives to tell the world what was happening.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- On August 16, 2006, the FDNY released audio tapes made on September 11, 2001. The tapes reveal conversations between emergency workers on that day. Below are transcripts of three of the recordings released.

Track 55, EMS Queens West Auxiliary

0:40 Transmission 2


FD2: Yeah what do you got?

FDNY: We've got a plane into the World Trade Center

FD2: We know what do you think?

FDNY: Unknown at this time...I'm just letting the hospitals know

FD2: Okay we are going to empty out and we will take smokes and whatever you need

FNDY: No problem

FD2: Thank you

FDNY: Thanks

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1:22 Transmission 3

FDNY: Units unless it is in regards to the World Trade Center standby...Methodist EMS notification standby

FD2: Okay what do you got?

FDNY: We've got an mci of the World Trade Center...plane crash

FD2: Alright so do you have any estimation

FDNY: We have no estimation at this time. We need Brooklyn Hospital to be on standby for the patients and make room

FD2: Okay...we're on standby

FDNY: Thank you

FD2: Alright

2:05 Transmission 4

FD2: Can I help you?

FDNY: Yeah hi Bruce

FD2: Hi

FDNY: many patients can you handle? We have a plane into the World Trade Center. We are just letting you know

FD2: Um...shoot...(asks a coworker) who is in for us today? Daniella? How many patients can we handle from the World Trade Center plane crash? How many patients can we take? Hang on one second we are checking.

FDNY: problem

FD2: How bad is the situation?

FDNY: We don't know. We are just getting on to the scene.

FD2: It's a plane crash into it?

FDNY: A plan crashed into the top floor of the World Trade Center...if you guys have access to it New York One has comments on it.

FD2: (To another) They don't know how bad the situation is. They just need to know how many we can take. We can take for Thomas spots. Four major Thomas.

FDNY: Okay thank you.

FD2: Thanks

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3:28 Transmission 5

FDNY: Queens West

FD2: Yeah David

FDNY: Yeah

FD2: Is it possible we can hit that city the mci

FDNY: No...right now we have no units going on. We will let you know if we need more.

FD2: Okay

FDNY: Okay

FD2: Thanks

3:52 Transmission 6

FDNY: Queens West

FD2: Yeah it's Five One Will...

FDNY: Yeah

FD2: Any units going down?

FDNY: Not yet

FD2: Keep me in mind

FDNY: Thanks

4:10 Transmission 8

FDNY: I've got thirty four. Height to four this is break

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4:41 Transmission 9

FDNY: Jamaica 10 EMS

FD2: EMS how you doing? This is five one fifty. We're right near the Grand Central

FDNY: Oh please we have everyone and there mother going to this

FD2: I know

FDNY: What we need right now is for people to stay in their bowls. Okay. Stay in their eighty nine's because this is going to go crazy. Okay?

FD2: problem

FDNY: I want to go, but I can't okay?

FD2: Yep

FDNY: Okay..bye

5:16 Transmission 10

FD2: Emergency

FDNY: Yeah how you doing? This is EMS

FD2: Yeah

FNDY: Yeah guys know about the plane crash?

FD2: Yes we do

FDNY: How many patients can you handle?

FD2: Hold on one second. (It's EMS about how many patients we can handle. It's about the plane crash about how many we can handle)

FDNY: How many I am sorry?

FD2: Hi it's Richard Preston how you doing?

FDNY: Hi..I don't have a patient count yet. We are notifying everybody in the area okay. We want to know how many patients you can handle?

FD2: We are kind of tight but I am sure we could take as many as six if we had to

FDNY: Six okay thank you very much

FD2: Bye

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6:17 Transmission 11

FD2: ER this is Sobel

FDNY: Yeah how you doing ER this is EMS

FD2: Yes

FDNY: You guys know about the plan crash?

FD2: Yeah

FDNY: How many patients can you handle?

FD2: uh...oh my god hold on

FDNY: We don't know

FD2: Hello

FDNY: Yeah Doctor I have two planes into the World Trade Center. How many patients can you handle.

FD2: What is this?

FDNY: I've got two planes into the World Trade Center. Crashed into the World Trade Center. How many patients can you handle?

FD2: Hold on...hold on sir

FDNY: Okay

FD2: Hello. Who is this?

FDNY: This is EMS. I have two planes into the World Trade Center. How many patients can you handle? We don't have a count yet. We are just getting all of the hospitals prepared.

FD2: Twenty

FDNY: Twenty okay thank you very much.

7:50 Transmission 12

FD2: Emergency Department of North Shore.... Can I help you?

FDNY: How you doing North Shore? This is EMS.

FD2: Hello EMS

FDNY: You guys heard about the plane crash?

FD2: Yes

FDNY: We have two planes into the World Trade Center. How many...hold on a second. Okay how many patients can you handle if we have to go to your hospital?

FD2: 25 to 30

FDNY: 25 to 30? Thank you. You have been a big help. Have a good day

FD2: Bye

CLICK HERE for more Eyewitness News reflections, photos and stories marking the anniversary of 9/11

8:32 Transmission 13

FDNY: Hello?

FD2: Mr. Z?

FDNY: No it's the board. Who is this?

FD2: What's going on with Manhattan? I've got like three guys here

FDNY: Where are you?

FD2: Like 69th and Elliot. My partner is off today. He is coming over.

FDNY: Okay you have two planes that crashed into the World Trade

FD2: That's what I am saying. Do you want us to go? I don't start until two. But I've got these two guys.

FDNY: You're off duty. Go to your station and pick up a vehicle at the nearest station. How does that sound?

FD2: Alright I've got two guys coming with me

FDNY: Take them with you.

FD2: Two guys are going with me

FDNY: Go to your nearest battalion.

FD2: Fuck going to work at 2 then.

FDNY: Go to your nearest battalion and get a vehicle now.

FD2: You got it.

FDNY: Otherwise you are not going to get in.

FD2: I understand


FD2: You got it

9:28 Transmission 14

FDNY: Hello

FD2: EMS..It's Nick from Jamaica

FDNY: What's up?

FD2: We have extra resources to send you guys

FDNY: Right now hold off.

FD2: Okay

FDNY: Alright. We will hold off Nick

FD2: Alright thanks


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10:00 Transmission 15

FD2: Hey I was told to call you

FDNY: Who is this?

FD2: One nine David

FDNY: No I need four six David

FD2: Six David....okay we are available for the mci if you need us.

FDNY: We'll let you knoe

FD2: Okay thanks.

10:31 Transmission 17

FDNY: Queens

FD2: Yeah it's four six David

FDNY: Listen before you leave the hospital take long boards with you.

FD2: Okay I hope they have some here

FDNY: If they don't let me know, but I put you on the job already...alrighty? You're on it.

FD2: Alright. You know what I will do. I am at St. Joseph's. As soon as I leave here I'll stop right by Queens General.

FDNY: Okay..listen I made you 98. I put you on the job

FD2: Alright.

FDNY: How does that sound to you? You're on it. It is on your KTP. You're on it. You know that. Just get some boards and bring them with you into the city.

FD2: Okay what I will do is go by here and go by Queens General and see if I can pick up some boards there. Okay no problem

FDNY: Thanks

FD2: Bye

11:23 Transmission 18

FDNY: Queens West Radio good morning.

FD2: Yeah this is four six outside..Arthur and Steve don't pick up there.

FDNY: Four six seven do you want to go to Manhattan? Okay what's you number?

FD2: 4651 what's yours?

FDNY: 4529...okay I am probably going to be sending you into lower Manhattan hold on a second. Hold on a second...I am going to put you on hold..okay?

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14:50 Transmission 20

FDNY: Queens

FD2: Yeah this is 46 Ida


FD2: You've got the right numbers?

FDNY: I'm sorry hold on a second. I'm really really..four six Ida. I really don't have time for this, but I will do it anyway. 4 8 7 4

FD2: Right

FDNY: What's your decimal numbers?

FD2: 4651 and 4659

FDNY: Okay try it now...but if it doesn't go in it doesn't go in

FD2: Okay

FDNY: Okay

FD2: Alright

15:38 Transmission 22

FDNY: Hang up all transmission terminals just in case

16:00 Transmission 23

FD2: Yeah

FDNY: It's IDA screaming for 13

FD2: Why?

FDNY: Because the building just collapsed over

FD2: Are you shitting me?

FDNY: No, No, No, No

FD2: Alright the whole building is gone Relax

FDNY: You don't know what it is like up here

FD2: I can only imagine the whole fucking city is filled with smoke right now. Holy shit look at this thing fall. Right throught middle down. The whole building collapsed.

FDNY: I hope they are alright. It's fucking ridiculous

FD2: I'll call you back...bye

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Transmission 24

FD2: Hello?

FDNY: Queens

FD2: Yeah hello Queens this is Eddie Callahan from the union. Do me a favor if you guys are able to make contact with any supervisor that is on the air in Queens advise them that I have people leaving from the union Italian going to the office 39 to pick up ambulances and go directly into Manhattan.

FDNY: okay

FD2: okay

FDNY: We have to stand by here now. I live in Metro

FD2: Over there now too

FDNY: Yep...there is an unidentified plane flying over

FD2: Okay they have another fucking plane flying over again. Alright just let them

FDNY: Alright position five one I will tell them he is still on my frequency. Okay alright honey?

FD2: alright bye

Transmission 25

FD2: Yo

FDNY: They have an unidentified plane flying over metro check

FD2: Are you shitting me?

FDNY: just came heading from the BZ Bridge heading to the Metro check

FD2: Well Wilson is alright he talked to me. Danny Laflay is missing.

FDNY: He is missing?

FD2: Yup can't find him. I think they are caught in the middle of the fucking smoke.

FDNY: Alright...if you get a hold of him tell him I put him in the thirteen

FD2: Alright


Transmission 26

FDNY: Queens

FD2: Yeah this is Willis with four six IDA

FDNY: Are you guys okay?

FD2: Yeah but I still can't find my partner. I tried to contact him by cell phone but I think his cell was out. I was just wondering if he called or not

FDNY: No he didn't call me

FD2: They just put me on the 14th floor here...I am just trying to get a phone. My cell phone is not working.

FDNY: Well you got my cell. If you can't reach my cell then call the board. Just let me know when you find Danny.

FD2: When we got there the tower started falling

FDNY: Just let me know if you and your partner are okay alright honey? Be careful

FD2: Alright bye.

Transmission 27

FDNY: Queens

FD2: Hello can you all connect me to the dispatcher please?

FDNY: Who is this?

FD2: This is four seven David

FDNY: Who told you to go to Manhattan?

FD2: Hold on stand by

FDNY: We need to know who authorized you to go to Manhattan

FD2: RTC10611

FDNY: RTC is sending our units to Manhattan without telling us. That is bullshit. Hold on honey. We are not taking it out on you it is just that we can't keep track of everybody

FD2: I understand. This is going to be a day to remember for awhile

FDNY: Tell me about it...hello...hello...hello

FD2: Hello

FDNY: Yeah we are getting fucking yelled at up here. You are not supposed to be going. RTC is not supposed to be telling you where to go

FD2: We just got a message from them

FDNY: But they are assholes and they are not the dispatcher

FD2: I understand

Track 79, Operator: EMS

CALL #1, 00:41

EMS: Manhattan caller, this is EMS. Is the patient breathing? Is she awake? She's having an asthma attack now. Ok, ask her how bad is this asthma, between one and ten? Ask her has she ever been incubated? She can speak and she can walk? Ok, we'll have an ambulance there soon. Let me verify the location. Ok, keep her in an upright position. Don't give her anything to eat or drink. An ambulance will be there as soon as possible.


Operator: The link is down. 39 Broadway.

EMS: Are you anywhere near the Trade Center sir? 39 Broadway. Is this the Exchange? It is, right? Ok, follow the instructions I just gave you until the ambulance arrives. Keep her in an upright position, tell her to loosen any tight clothing. Is anybody there to assist her? Make sure she's not moving around.

EMS: Ok, let me get you number on this. The link is down?

Operator: It's 3383.

EMS: Guess what? It just came in. Thanks, bye-bye.

CALL #2, 3:20

EMS: Manhattan caller, this is EMS. The patient is breathing? Ok, give me the address. Yes ma'am. Is the patient breathing right now? What's the address? 30 Broadway? Broad Street? On the 19th floor?

Operator: Ma'am, ok 30 Broad Street on the 17th floor, we've got a female. Ok, what is wrong with her?


EMS: Ok, put me with him. I already put the job in the system. Que esta pasando? Cuantos anos tiene? Dime hombre o mujer? Tengo la direccion la 30 Broad Street, 19th floor.

EMS (to Operator): Ok, we have a female about 30 years old.

Operator: I've got it.

EMS: Possible multiple seizures. The patient that we're calling for we has multiple seizures at that location. Is she still breathing? Ok, so she is conscious now?

Operator: How many persons need an ambulance?

EMS: You only have one patient there, right?

EMS (to Operator): Ok, the job number. My computer is having problems too.


EMS: Make sure she doesn't have anything to eat or drink, that she's lying down, preferably to the side. If there's oxygen, make sure it's at 10 liters or 15 liters. You don't have any oxygen? Make sure the room is well ventilated. The ambulance will be there soon.

CALL #3, 7:20

NYPD: We're going to Manhattan, 90 Williams Street.

EMS: Ok, ma'am this is EMS on the line. Is the patient breathing? Ok, you are telling me there are several people right? Unconscious at that location? 90 Williams Street correct? Ok, take a deep breath. UPS building? Yes, I'm writing it down. Is there a floor or anything or is it the ground floor? Ok, you're telling me there are several people unconscious at that location, correct? I want you to do me a favor, take a deep breath and relax first of all. Then you're going to go over and try and help them. If they can call you, you can call them back. Ok, make sure you don't give them anything to eat or drink. If you can lay them down, preferably to the side, don't let anyone crowd around them. Keep fanning them, an ambulance will be there as soon as possible.


EMS: Ok, my job number is 1004.

NYPD: Ours is 3822.

EMS: Right. Ok?

NYPD: Ok, thank you. Bye-bye.

CALL #4, 9:28

Transit: We're going to Manhattan. I know it's busy. Driver 205 is the booth.

Operator: Driver 205 I have in the heart of everything, right transit?

Transit: Right, exactly. There's heavy smoke condition in the station.

Operator: Heavy smoke condition in the station. No one that you know is injured or complaining of anything?


Transit: No.

Operator: Give me your number.

Transit: 10288884

Operator: Ok. Transit is on the scene.


T: Do we really have that many EMS out there?

O: Yes, we do.

T: Aw, that's good.

O: Yes we do.

T: They be coming from all over to help out?

O: Yes we do, from all the boroughs.

T: Ok, what's the job number? Ok, thanks a lot.

CALL #5, 11:05

EMS: Manhattan caller, is the patient breathing? Is she awake? What is wrong with her right now? I need to verify the location. How old is she more or less? Is she able to speak? Is she able to get up on her own? Ok, has she ever been incubated? Ok, what's happening there-tell me? I know about the WTC. Ok, give me your address first of all. Is everybody in the lobby? Yeah, I know I used to work there. 55 Water Street. Ok, hold on. Alright, you have several people in the building complaining of different things, an asthma attack is one, right? Ok, I'm trying to see if I have a job number. Bear with me, I have a unit responding, I want to make sure they have all the help they can get too.


EMS: Ma'am, you're security right? I'm going to give you an EMS job number in case you need anything else. You should have a unit outside. Have the other security alert any ambulance that you have an asthma situation. There is a lot of bad news out there-tell them you have a female with an asthma attack.

CALL #6, 14:23

Rescue worker: We're going into Manhattan, 108 Greenich.

EMS: 108 Grand Street?

Rescue: Greenich.

EMS: Oh, Greenich. You ok?

R: Me?

EMS: Yeah.

R: Not really.

EMS: Ok, take a deep breath, relax. We're all under it over here too. What did they tell you?


R: There's people trapped on the sixth floor. I don't know. I don't know what happened over there.

EMS: 60 people trapped on the sixth floor?

R: No. There's people trapped on the sixth floor. I don't know.

EMS: Sixth floor, people trapped. And caller hung up right?


R: Yes.

EMS: And how did she sound?

R: She wasn't there. She called from somewhere else.

EMS: Ok, um...I can't get the job on my screen. Let me see what I get.

R: They say the system is delayed.

EMS: Yeah, I'm having trouble too. Ok, 108 Greenwich Street in the borough of Manhattan. We have caller hung up, sixth floor, people trapped. No caller on the line, no call back-correct?


R: Correct.

EMS: No call back either. Give me your number. Ok, thanks a lot. Take it easy ok? Bye-bye.

R: Bye.

Track 83

What apartment number on the 68th floor.


Female trapped at WTC on 68th Floor

(Audio has ringing on it.)

South side of building on the 68th floor female in a wheel chair




2:33 8612 one of the technicians, you want to ask a question?

Hold On sir

Just a moment let me put a lt. on

2:49: This is the lieutenant Howq can I help you.

And who are you

Sure they would love your assistance. Any hand would be helpful.


4:09 Location is 2 WTC

That's the 100 Floor

Are there 2 buildings on Fire?

I don't know He s on the NW conference room and he can't breathe

You didn't get an age right?

6:00 No, he can't breathe he can barely talk.

6:50 Oh my god.

7:22 -7:48 goes dead



8:39 8612 This is ? at 225 Rector place The caller hung up?

Yes. What did they tell you

It's a police officer on the first floor he has difficulty breathing

What age?


9:38 You have all the info for him?

Difficulty breathing

EMS Job # 984 makes it a priority one


10:36 Blank



Thank you

Federal Hall National memorial in the basement mass casualty set up in basement have about 200 patients and I have no ems help I am down

11:00 One asthma person going into an asthma attack GOOD AUDIO

One person hit by falling debris , people keep coming in we are the only open building

12:00 Man whispers "Oh, Christ almighty " He's the only one there and

You folks are better off not leaving. There is a building that collapsed further up from us

We have no ventilation in here

13:11 We have asthma dust inhalation on person hit by falling debris and they keep coming in. A

13:42 All right sir they are coming

14:42 Oh shit.


They said they are just trapped now they need an ambulance.

90 Williams street

Lots of tone

15:56 M'aam what's going on? How old is he? What's going on with him is he having a problem breathing? How many people are trapped?

30 people trapped 90 williams street entire 3rd floor and they are trapped. Ambulance is on the way

18:00 8612 This is staten Island

Is the person calling for breathing? She's awake? How old is she? I have a headache

What happened? She's upset and how is she acting sir? What happened?

Lots of tone.

OK, All right She's upset and what and she's in shock. She has a seizure disorder correct? She's very upset. Hold on "We're a little backed up sir."

Track 84, Operator: EMS

CALL #, 00:39

FDNY: There's something going on. This regards the injury due to that explosion.

EMS: Is the person breathing? Is the person awake? How old is he?

FDNY: In his 20s. He has a head injury due to the explosion out here.


EMS: A head injury? Did he fall? He fell?

F: A piece of cement fell on him.

E: Ok, a piece of cement fell on him. This is at the World Trade Center?

F: Yes, I'm at 30 W. Broadway.

E: Are you New York Exchange Place?

F: 30 W. Broadway between Park Place and Barclay.


E: Hold on, don't hang up yet because I have to put it in the system. You have to bear with me here. And what's the phone number there? Is he bleeding at all?

F: Yes he is sir.

E: A clean dry cloth over the wound that he's bleeding from, and have him sit down away from the explosion site, wherever the cement fell on him. Is he bleeding from the head?

F: Yes, from the head.

E: Ok, the ambulance will be there soon at 30 W. Broadway.

F: Thank you.

E: What floor is that on?

F: Right at the front location.

CALL #2, 3:01

EMS: Hello? BEEP Is the person breathing? BEEP What is your address? BEEP Eighth floor. BEEP So you don't want an ambulance? BEEP Why are you going to wait? It's asthma, it's something serious. BEEP Alright, if you feel worse, call us back.

Operator: She said the building is being evacuated.

EMS: What building is that?

Operator: 125 Broad Street

EMS: She doesn't want an ambulance, so whatever.

CALL #3, 4:23

EMS: Hello caller? Address? Floor? What is your telephone number there? About how old is he? A male, a female? He's breathing, right? He's not breathing? How old is he? 40? 30? And he's breathing now, but he wasn't breathing before? Is he complaining of anything? Ok, hold on. And he's breathing now. Still unconscious? Ok, breathing now, and he has any complaints this man? Ok, hold on one second. Ok, the ambulance will be there soon.

EMS (to Operator): You routed this to me? No.


Operator: Yeah, 375 Pearl Street. Don't tell me it didn't come to you.

EMS: Something came. It's going to take awhile. The thing over there in Manhattan.

Operator: Two planes went into a building, that's what I heard. It's probably affecting the communication.

EMS: Yeah.

Operator: Ok, bye-bye.

CALL #4, 7:00

EMS: Hello caller? Is the person breathing? Male or female? What happened to him? Blood pressure is 80? Ok, he's lying down now. Is he having difficulty breathing? Ok, shortness of breath. Ok, the doctor is on the scene too with oxygen? Ok, keep him sitting up a little bit so he can breathe easier. Keep him warm. What is the address? Hold on. 101 Park Place. Floor? Ok, and that is...The telephone number? We're going to send the ambulance over there now. Keep up with the oxygen.

CALL #5, 8:48

EMS: Hello caller? Is the person breathing? And where is he? You have an address? I understand. What happened to him? What church is it? Listen, hold on a second. I understand, but I have to...Ok, we'll send the ambulance over. Wait, we have Madison and Pearl, that's not the same thing. The ambulance will be there, they'll be there. So why don't you leave the apartment now when you still can leave the apartment? Because the smoke is only going to get worse. It's better to leave now and wait in the street for a couple of hours then wait for the ambulance. Because smoke has a tendency to go up, always up. You can try, but the traffic is horrendous. You can try and get there. The higher you are, the more smoke you're going to get now. You should go down now. If you see smoke, you shouldn't wait until you have difficulty breathing.

CALL #6, 12:20

EMS: Caller in Manhattan, hello? Is the person breathing? What's the address? Oh, we already have a job there for that. Ok, someone called before. Let me get some information from you. Ok, what happened to him? He's breathing, he's alive? He's next to you now? Ok, you're going to go to him? Ok, well he's conscious now. So you don't know what's going on actually. The ambulance will be there soon. If he's unconscious, have him lie down, breathe into the mouth.

CALL #7, 14:03

EMS: Hello caller, what is the address? I can't hear you. 26...ok, that is federal offices-which one, FBI headquarters? And what is the floor? First floor. Alright, and your phone number? I can hardly hear you. Make sure he's breathing. Is he awake? What happened to him? Leg injury? What happened to him? What happened to his leg? He fell? Snapped where? So he had a leg injury before? Ok, is he bleeding at all? Ok, take a clean dry cloth, put it over where he's bleeding from. We don't know why. Let me so, hold on. Ok, 26 Federal Plaza first floor, the ambulance will be there.

EMS to Operator: Hello? He's not there. And there are a million ambulances over there.

Operator: Yeah, we're back up.

EMS: Ok, now you want the job number? Everything is delayed now, you know that.


Operator: Yeah, ok.

EMS: You can send it to me as a relay or whatever, it doesn't matter.

Operator: Ok, bye-bye.

CALL #8:, 16:43

EMS: Caller in Manhattan, what is the address?

Operator: Give them the location that you gave me.

EMS: Ok, hold on. That's Marcus Street, right? You have a telephone number? You don't know the number. Marcus Street, is that where you are? Is the patient breathing? The person is breathing? It's you? How old are you? You are by the fire over there? Oh, that's not good. Hold on. Smoke inhalation, and your eyes are burning, itching? You have stuff in your eyes? Alright, hold on. Hold on, I have to put the job in. How far are you from the scene over there? Do you see an ambulance next to you? There's nobody there? If you see an ambulance, you can flag them down. Listen, they have to stop for you. An ambulance will be there soon. I want you to flush your eyes out. The ambulances are kind of busy, so I don't know when they'll be there.

EMS (to Operator): Hello?


Operator: Ok, thank you.

EMS: No one knows.

Operator: Ok, thank you. Bye-bye.


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