Emergency Number Day

Emergency Number Day

September 11th is the day Emergency Number Day was proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan in 1987.

This observance focuses on the United States public safety communication. Three-digit emergency telephone numbers originated in the UK in 1937. The emergency telephone number used in the United States was created by the Federal Communications Commission and AT&T in 1968.

The combination 9-1-1 was chosen because it was brief, easy to remember and dial. The first 9-1-1 call was placed on February 16, 1968 in Haleyville, Alabama although it wasn’t to report a crime or request emeergency responder help! Alabama Speaker of the House, Rankin Fite, made the first call from another city hall room. It was answered by Congressman Tom Bevill on a bright red telephone located in the police department. Also on hand was Haleyville Mayor James Whitt, Public Service Commission President Eugene (Bull) Connor, and B. W. Gallagher.

In the same year 9-1-1 officially became the national emergency number for the USA. However, it became widely known only in the 1970s.

All 9-1-1 calls are answered by special call centers known as public-safety answering points (PSAPs). Calling this number provides callers access to police, ambulance, and firefighting services through trained dispatchers.9-1-1 Emergency Number Day is observed on September 11. This date was selected because the numbers 9-1-1 correspond to September 11 in the month-day date format. Since 2001, the importance of the Emergency Number Day has declined due to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and subsequent proclamation of Patriot Day as a national observance.


Nov 09 2024


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