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'From where?': A Google misstep in Alberta leads to free pizza for Texan first responders
EDMONTON -- A pizza place mix-up resulted in an Alberta fire hall paying it forward to first responders in San Antonio, Texas.
The Lesser Slave Regional Fire Service hosted a talk about PTSD at its fire hall Monday, with multiple first responders in attendance. The fire crew decided they wanted to buy dinner.
Jordan Lampertz, a firefighter for the Lesser Slave Lake region, quickly Googled what he thought was the phone number for Alimo, a local pizza place.
“I found it a little bit strange, because during the order they asked for a credit card number, which the local pizza place does not ask for,” said Lampertz.
That request should’ve “sent warning flags off” for Lampertz, but he said he had other things on his mind, so he gave them the credit card number and waited for the call to pick up the 18 large pizzas.
“At about four o’clock they called me, and it popped up on my phone as a San Antonio, Texas phone number. Thought that was kind of strange, didn’t answer it because I don’t know anyone from San Antonio,” he said.
Upon closer inspection Lampertz said he realized that was the number he had called for pizza earlier in the day. He says he called the number back and confirmed his 4:30 p.m. pick up, but started questioning the odd area code.
“I went and asked chief, ‘Why does Alimo’s have a Texas number?’ and right away he was like, ‘They don’t.’ So I went back on my phone and went to the Google search and a little light bulb went off, and sure enough I ordered from San Antonio, Texas.”
Lampertz said he called back Alamo Pizza in San Antonio and explained the situation.
“They had a good laugh at my expense I’m sure.”
Fred Nunez, the owner of Alamo Pizza, said they didn’t think twice about an order coming in from an unfamiliar area code.
“We get a lot of out of area numbers because we’re close to airport space. So it’s not really uncommon.”
At first Nunez said was nervous that he was going to be stuck with 18 unpaid pizzas, but Lampertz assured him that they’d cover the cost.
“We wouldn’t have charged it if he wasn’t going to authorize it,” said Nunez. “So when he offered to pay for the whole thing, afterwards I went ahead and applied the public safety discount we do around here.”
Lampertz said he asked Nunez if there was anywhere the pizzas could be delivered so they wouldn’t go to waste.
“I was like, ‘Since you’re going to go ahead and pay for them, I’ll go ahead and get them out there for you,’” said Nunez.
The accidental order was delivered by Nunez and his step-daughter to two of their local fire stations and a police station.
“They were surprised, because they were also like ‘From where?’”
Lampertz said the crews in San Antonio asked how they could repay the favour.
“We just told them that we would just appreciate if they’d pass it on,” said Lampertz.
“Sometimes mistakes turn into a good thing and in this case we were able to help out some friends down south, who look like they were well fed anyway, so the pizza was just a bonus,” said Regional Fire Chief Alex Pavcek.
Pavcek says that they won’t rule out a meeting between crews someday in the future.
“It’s funny that a little mistake could turn into friendships.”
In a comment on the Lesser Slave Regional fire service Facebook page, the San Antonio Fire Department said, “Next time any of your firefighters are in San Antonio, Alamo Pizza is on us!”
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Will Briganti.