Today, February 16, 2018, marks the 50th anniversary of the first 911 call. The Dallas Police Department’s Communications Division celebrated this milestone with ice cream and cake for its hard working and dedicated employees.
One of the most recognized set of numbers in the world is that of 9-1-1. The first ever 9-1-1 call was placed in Haleyville, Alabama on February 16, 1968. 9-1-1 was designated by AT&T as the universal emergency number. The 9-1-1 set of numbers were picked because it was quick to dial on a rotary phone. And because there is not a national 9-1-1 network, the 9-1-1 system cannot be hacked.
In 1972, the FCC recommended that the number be implemented nationwide. In 1973, The White House Office of Telecommunications issued a national policy encouraging a nationwide adoption of the 9-1-1 system. The Federal Information Center was also established to assist in its planning and implementation. As years passed and technology developed, the system went from five-line phones and written logs to the multi-screens and application workstations used today.
On this 50th anniversary of 9-1-1, we would like to say thank you to the pioneers and to our own communications personnel on this day.