Alabama 911 Board marks 55th anniversary of very first 911 call

911 call (FILE)
911 call (FILE)
Published: Feb. 16, 2023 at 5:43 AM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Feb. 16th is the 55th anniversary of the very first 911 call, which was made in Alabama.

A Senator in Haleyville placed the first 911 call in 1968. Before that first call, citizens needed to dial local 10-digit phone numbers to reach police, fire or emergency services.

The idea for 911 started developing after the National Academy of Sciences published a landmark report highlighting how accidental death and injury, particularly from motor vehicle crashes, had become an epidemic in the U.S. and urging a series of steps to reduce those deaths and injuries, including exploring the “feasibility of designating a single, nationwide, telephone number to summon an ambulance.” A federal commission on crime also recommended telephone companies develop a single phone number to call for emergencies.

Since that number was established, many advancements have been made to improve our access to first responders through 911 and the overall level of care provided in emergency situations.

The Alabama 911 Board works in partnership with the Emergency Communication Districts of Alabama to facilitate and promote effective, efficient, and reliable 9-1-1 service statewide to the residents and visitors of Alabama.

It’s estimated about 240 million calls are made to 911 in the U.S. each year.

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