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Did you know that the first 911 emergency call was made in 1968? 911 was created so people could summon help quickly. Instead of finding, then dialing the number for the police, fire station, or ambulance, you just had to remember the number 911 and you could quickly summon emergency assistance. When you dial 911 your call is routed to a dispatch center, which will contact the appropriate emergency service. Remember, 911 is just for emergencies! Calling 911 as a prank or for non-emergency situations is a crime in many locations.

We hope that you have a prepared day at school today. Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.

Bonus Facts:
When telephones first came into use, there wasn’t really a need for 911 since all calls were manually connected by a switchboard operator.

The first experiment with an emergency telephone number was in the United Kingdom in 1937. In the United States, the idea for a nationwide emergency telephone number started in 1957.

The first 911 system went into service in Haleyville, Alabama. The first 911 call was made by Alabama Speaker of the House, Rankin Fite, to U.S. Representative, Tom Beville, located at the city’s police station.

911 was selected as the ‘emergency telephone number’ partially due to the design of the phone system in the United States. The order of the digits, the 9, then 1, told the phone switching system this was not a normal phone call.

The ‘emergency number’ in other countries is different. In Great Britain the number is ‘999’; in parts of the European Union it is ‘112’; in Australia the number is ‘000’. In some countries, there are different 2 or 3-digit numbers depending on which emergency service you are trying to reach.

It wasn’t until the 1980’s that ‘911’ was adopted as the standard emergency number. Even then the process of implementing a nation-wide emergency telephone service encountered many obstacles. For example, since the telephone systems were not set up all at once and the telephone system boundaries did not match geographical boundaries, callers could easily be routed to the wrong dispatch centers. Today, the growing use of cellular phones and VoIP (Voice over IP) presents a problem since it can be difficult to route these calls to the correct dispatch station if the location of the phone cannot be determined. But, new technologies continue to improve the 911 system and to address these issues.

In many places in the United States Enhanced 9-1-1 is now available, which matches a caller’s phone number with a physical address. This helps the dispatchers to send help more efficiently.

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