panic-911From A&E’s community message board for their new “reality” show “Panic 911“:

A&E’s new thriller series “Panic 9-1-1” takes 911 calls to a whole new level never seen or heard before on television. Unlike emergency shows of the past, viewers will live inside the calls and experience every harrowing and terrifying moment along with the caller. Every second is real.
One part thriller and one part true-crime show, “Panic 9-1-1” features the real, urgent, unrehearsed, 911 call audio in real-time between emergency dispatchers and frantic callers as life and death situations unfold around them. Each call is a race against time where the dispatcher is the caller’s only lifeline, gathering critical information from the caller to give to first responders. When literally every second counts, getting the right details is crucial. Who lives and who dies remains a mystery until the very end.

In the real world of 9-1-1 dispatching, the verdict is in: this show sucks.

From Twitter to the message boards, dispatchers are aghast at this program.


Just when I thought that TV had reached a new low with shows like Honey Boo Boo and Jersey Shore, I saw a preview for this show, and I felt horrified. Exploiting the real pain and trauma of people begging for help as entertainment is just disgusting to me.

Keep in mind that I am not easily offended: I am a big fan of shows like Family Guy and South Park, even some “reality” TV shows- but there is one clear difference here- these shows AREN’T REAL!

I work every day with people who have suffered real traumatic events and who feel the effect of their emotional pain every single day they have the strength to get out of bed. SHAME on those who treat the same horror and pain of real people as ENTERTAINMENT. A new low, and I will not be watching A&E until it’s cancelled. I will be encouraging everyone I know to do the same. Unbelievable, A&E. Unbelievable.

On Twitter, @Caoimhe3706 says:

#panic911 is anti-911. In 11 years I’ve never told ANYONE to lay down their last line of defense until a cop was at the door. I’m Sickened.

I haven’t seen it yet, and between the advertising blurb by A & E and the comments from other dispatchers who have, I’m not sure this is something I want to watch.

Rescue 9-1-1, which ran from 1989 through 1996 with William Shatner as host, was a good show.  I don’t think Panic 9-1-1 is going to last very long.  At least I hope not.