A Bit of 9-1-1 Trivia
Did you know that on February 16, 1968 the first 9-1-1 call was placed in Haleyville, Alabama, and that by the end of 1987 only 50 percent of the United States population had access to 9-1-1?
As public safety professionals, you are probably replying, “Of, course!”
We may live in this public safety world daily, but many people in the United States might be surprised to learn that this simple three-digit number—one that most have come to take for granted—was not always widely known and available. In fact, it was not until the Wireless Communications and Public Safety Act of 1999 that it became the universal emergency telephone number.
Spreading the Word
Because 9-1-1 is vital to protecting the public, in 2008 the United States Congress designated April as National 9-1-1 Education Month.
Those of us in public safety cannot take it for granted that our families, friends, and neighbors understand how 9-1-1 works. When something goes terribly wrong they only want to hear, “9-1-1, what is your emergency?” and know that help is on the way. However, before they ever need to make that call, let us help them understand how 9-1-1 works and how call takers and dispatchers strive to communicate efficiently and effectively with the public as well as police officers, firefighters, and EMS personnel.
At Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure, we support our customers’ daily efforts to save lives and protect citizens. Here is a list of resources to share with family, friends, and neighbors:
- Making 9-1-1 Work for You!
- NENA: 9-1-1 Video Tips
- APCO: Public Education Tools for Telecommunicators
- NG 9-1-1 Institute: Resources
- Smart 9-1-1: Resources
- 9-1-1 for Kids
- APCO PSC Online: “When I Grow Up, I Want to Be a Dispatcher”
Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure would like to thank all of the public safety telecommunication professionals for their service and dedication.
Beth Harte is a senior marketing specialist focused on public safety and security.