An Unfortunate Truth: 911 Is A Joke

911 phone emergency

Well, it’s happened again. The United States experienced yet another widespread communications outage. This time it was the 911 Emergency System in four separate states which had the potential to affect millions of citizens. And what is the reason behind this massive outage? According to the latest story, some utility workers cut a cable

Remember when AT&T phones went down in major cities across America and they initially blamed it on solar flares? When that lie didn’t stick, they said it was a software upgrade that crashed the system.

Soon thereafter, Facebook, Instagram and Youtube all crashed. The cause for that? Computer glitch, software issue. In each and every case the media was instructed to downplay, or completely dismiss as crazy, that these communication outages were the result of deliberate hacking ie: cyber attacks. 

Warnings, But Not Warnings?

Back in February of 2024, numerous Sheriffs conducted press briefings after returning from a conference in Washington, DC. These men explained to their constituents that they had been briefed by various United States intelligence agencies regarding genuine threats to America.

Of these, one that was highlighted was cyber attacks against the communication systems. The Sheriff of Butler County stated that every day they experience attempts to hack their communication system. Not just one attack a day, but numerous attacks, every day. 

In January of 2024, the FBI Director went before Congress and described the threat of Chinese Communist Party cyber attacks against the United States as “the defining threat of our generation.” That seems pretty serious, don’t you think? 

FBI Director Christopher Wray
Federal Bureau of Investigation director Christopher Wray (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

So, we have been getting warnings upon warnings that foreign enemies — China, Russia, and Iran are at the top of the list — are attempting every day to execute cyber attacks against us. However, after we have genuine, demonstrable crashes of our communication systems, all those warnings are completely disregarded. Anyone who points out the warnings is shunned as a kook or conspiracy theorist.


911 is a Joke

The modern poet, Flavor Flav, once posited that “911 is a joke.” For an entire range of reasons, even having a working 911 system doesn’t guarantee that first responders will be coming your way.

Don’t forget, a flu virus can take out the system as well. San Francisco told their citizens not to call 911 due to the Omicron variant of COVID-19. Numerous police agencies are reducing the number and types of calls for which an officer will be dispatched. Yes, we are fully aware that far too many people abuse the 911 system and that needs to be addressed.

Any widespread disaster, whether man-made or natural will render the 911 system useless. During a civil emergency, every available first responder will already be out on the street “responding.” We’ve witnessed this after every major disaster during the last 30 years or so. During a disaster or crisis, you can call 911 all you want, but no one will be available.  

Expect to Self-Rescue

We need to understand that 911 is designed to get help moving in your direction. The 911 system isn’t a magic cure all or instant fix. There are a couple of phrases that are in vogue and for good reason. One of them is, “No one is coming, expect to self-rescue.” The other is, “You are your own first responder.”

Both of these statements serve to remind the end user that dialing 911 and just standing around waiting for someone else to fix the problem is a poor mindset.  

Just because 911 exists doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen or garage. The existence of 911 does not relieve you of the duty to get first aid training and have a medical kit available. There are injuries that, if left unattended, can kill a person before an ambulance has time to arrive. 

Violent crimes take place in moments. A police response of five minutes — which is considered very good — doesn’t help much when the maniac with a knife is ten feet away from you. Last week in Sydney, Australia a police officer responded and shot a knife-wielding maniac to death…but not until he had murdered six and severely injured a dozen more.

The primary point of all of this is that adult humans need to become more reliant upon their own skills and abilities and not act and behave as helpless victims. If you don’t own a fire extinguisher and know how to use it, get one and watch a training video at least.  

First Aid

One of the few silver linings from the failed GWoT was a tremendous advancement in traumatic injury training and the equipment used to treat life-threatening injuries. We have been attempting to spread the message that all responsible adults need to take a traumatic medical training class. If you are unsure, at least pick up and read the book: Beyond the Boo Boo.

If you own a firearm for self-protection, you need to understand justifiable use of force and know when you are morally and legally allowed to use that firearm. You absolutely need to take professional training from a school or academy that focuses on how to fight with a gun in your hand, not just “gun safety” or “marksmanship.” Both of those are important, but neither will prepare you to save your life during a deadly force encounter.  

Lies or Incompetence?

Lastly, regarding the recent widespread outage of the 911 system in four states, Nebraska, Nevada, Texas, and South Dakota. We can choose to believe the lie that workers installing a pole cut a cable and that it took down the emergency communication system in four states, only two of which actually touch. 

If you believe that lie, then you’re left with the only other choice, and that’s the people running the 911 system are grossly incompetent and have created a system that is so fragile that there is no redundancy and one single cut cable can disrupt communications for millions of people.

Whether you are being lied to or those in charge are grossly incompetent, both answers should lead you to being a well-prepared and trained individual. Act accordingly. 

Paul G. Markel is a combat decorated United States Marine veteran. He is also the founder of Student the Gun University and has been teaching Small Arms & Tactics to military personnel, police officers, and citizens for over three decades. 

16 Responses

      1. Yes, but the main way they get things done is by having just enough of the political “right” to go along with them when it really counts. The only way to fight this (in US) is to somehow get an anti-RNC candidate elected in the primary in red districts. The problem with that is 1) finding someone who can secure funding outside of the establishment, and 2) getting people in red districts to pay attention to the primary instead of just showing up to vote R on election day.

    1. ” A country in decline and extremely vulnerable.”

      Hard times make strong men…

      1. Geoff,

        ” . . . good times make weak men; weak men make hard times.” I commend to your attention “The Gods of the Copybook Headings” by R. Kipling. Timeless wisdom in that poem, and we are reliving it.

  1. The flu didn’t overload 911. Stupid people with the flu overloaded 911. Stupid people jammed the phones and filled the emergency rooms for no reason. Which is why whenever somebody tries to play the “overloaded hospitals” card you must understand that the bulk of that load has no business being there in the first place.

    Modern ERs and hospitals are more like sales in a department. You walk in and whether you should be there or not the VIP cart of thousand dollar gadgets gets wheeled in. People are bleeding out and vomiting blood back in the line waiting for you to stop demanding hospitalization for you 101 fever and afternoon diarrhea.

  2. “…people running the 911 system are grossly incompetent and have created a system that is so fragile that there is no redundancy and one single cut cable can disrupt communications for millions of people.”

    While I take your point, this scenario is not implausible. There’s a lack of predictable redundancy in a lot of our infrastructure, single-points-of-failure where there’s either supposed to be, or presumed to be, backups and route-arounds. Some of this is because people and companies cheaped out; some, I would guess, is because there was redundancy that got brought into service when the first line failed, and either nobody noticed or bothered to fix it.

    As we move towards an almost completely internet-based comms basis, the switching and routing no longer needs to be local. So yeah, I could easily see 911 calls being routed states away to a network center, then back to the local PD.

    So, unfortunately, yeah, I have no trouble believing a single cut cable did this. Whether it was actually that or a cyber attack I couldn’t say; but in the end, just different colors of bad.

  3. It seems that some have forgotten what the E in ER really means.
    Emergency doesn’t mean a runny nose or scraped knee etc
    Emergency Rooms exist for true emergencies.

    1. We can thank an abundance of hospital centered drama shows, informational murder porn investigation shows, a hysterical media all sprinkled with a heavy dose of prescription drug commercials and of course a CDC that labels its own data as misinformation for convincing the public that every stomach cramp, cough and headache is symptomatic of terminal disease.

  4. I’m not THAT old, and I swear that there was a time, in my memory, when the first thought in someone’s mind when an “emergency” happened was “What can I do to deal with it?”, rather than “OH!! Call the police/fire department/ambulance!!!” We are become a nation of wimps, dependent on others for our survival, and we deserve the inevitable result.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *