A somewhat strange exchange occurred in the middle of the night on September 26 when Trine Nielsen called 112 to report that the iconic Svinkløv Badehotel in northern Jutland was on fire.
Despite doing her best to be helpful, Nielsen felt the duty officer was disrespectful and unreasonable.
“He was repeatedly annoyed that I could not give him the exact address of the hotel,” she told DR4 Nordjylland.
“I was continuously scolded.”
Nielsen, who lives in Horsens, was a guest at the hotel and not familiar with the local area. The transcript of the call has been released, and it does seem that the duty officer was unhappy with Nielsen’s lack of specifics regarding the location of the hotel.
A slightly edited version of the conversation follows:
Trine Nielsen: There is a fire at Svinkløv Badehotel. The alarm has gone off and we are evacuating the guests.
Alarm Central: Listen. What is the address of the hotel?
TN: I do not think it’s Svinkløvvej – this is a side road to Svinkløvvej. Svinkløv Badehotel. You can look it up – I cannot look it up right now.
AC: Now listen. What city is it?
TN: It is up by Aabybro. Fjerritslev.
AC: Fjerritslev. Do you remember the postal code to Fjerritslev?
TN: No, I don’t remember it. I live in Horsens.
AC: Now listen here. This is not so simple. Fjerritslev.
TN: I cannot remember the number.
AC: Listen! Fjerritslev is 9690. Now we just need the address of the hotel. There must be an address.
TN: I’m sorry. It’s on fire. People are outside in the middle of the night.
AC: When you call the fire department, you need to know where you are. I cannot find an address for Svinkløv Badehotel.
TN: This is a scandal. It is pitch dark here, there is a fire that could explode and you sit there scolding me.
AC: Yes, but when you call the fire brigade, we need to know where you are.
TN: Yes, but it is the middle of the night.
AC: Yes, and so what? It could also be Christmas Eve.
Although Nielsen has moved on, the call has attracted media attention and the case is being reviewed by the Independent Police Complaints Authority(IPCA).
“We think there may be cause to investigate the policeman’s behaviour towards the citizen caller,” said the IPCA’s Kirsten Dyrman to DR P4 Nordjylland.
“We can do this in cases we think are serious.”