Fairfield County Cablevision customers were understandably alarmed when their service cut out around 7 p.m. on Sunday night, putting them in danger of missing Breaking Bad, the Yankees–Red Sox game, and other things people look forward to seeing on TV. Rather than sit silent as their end-of-weekend plans were destroyed, hundreds of citizens contacted their state senator, Norwalk’s Bob Duff, about the outage. (Duff claimed to sympathize with his constituents: “It disrupts your day and it gets very frustrating,” he said, while noting that some people were also worried about losing their phone and Internet service, which is often bundled with the cable.) But where some saw a major inconvenience, others saw a genuine emergency — or at least the opportunity to inject some drama into their suddenly cable-less lives by calling 911.
“We got several 911 calls last night from at least three individuals inconvenienced because they lost their Cablevision,” Fairfield County Police Department Lieutenant Jim Perez told the New York Post, which also provided a recording of a dispatcher telling a woman that “911 is for a life-threatening emergency.” “I know that,” she countered. “Is it a life-threatening time?”
Eventually, the police department posted a message on its Facebook page directing people to take up their cable emergencies with Cablevision and threatening those who “misuse” the 911 system with arrest. Thankfully for everyone, Cablevision’s service was restored at 11 p.m., but the trauma created by the incident will likely affect the community for years.