9-1-1 Celebrates 50 Years of Service

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HARRISBURG, ILL. – 9-1-1 authorities announce the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first 9-1-1 call in the United States. On February 16, 1968, Alabama Speaker of the House Mr. Rankin Fike, made the first 9-1-1 call from the Haleyville City Hall in Haleyville Alabama.

Since then, 9-1-1 technology has evolved and continues to evolve to the consumer expectations.

Each advancement has improved the ability to receive better and more reliable information that is relayed to the first responders, so they can do their job of saving lives and property.

Some of those advancements have been:
– 9-1-1 calls were originally presented with the three digit calling or speed dial.
– Location information and call back number known in the industry as ALI and ANI allowed
for more information to be obtained.
– With the advancement of cellular phones in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, became the
need for location information based on a Geospatial location, using longitude and latitude.
– Voice Over the Internet or (VOIP calls) has led to additional location information being
needed from these internet based calls.
– Next Generation 9-1-1 calls, allows for text message to be sent to 9-1-1 systems, as well as opens the doors for video and picture information to be sent to a 9-1-1 system.

Over 500 million 9-1-1 calls are made each year in the United States.

Saline County 9-1-1 went on line in 1993 and has been a part of nearly 25 years of 9-1-1 history as it was one the first adopters of Enhanced 9-1-1 in Illinois. Saline County receives 9-1-1 calls at times from ten (10) counties in three (3) states and was the first county in Illinois to handle 9-1-1 calls for more than one county. {Saline & Gallatin}

Saline County 9-1-1 turned up their Next Generation 9-1-1 system in 2015 and was part of National

Pilot project for Next Generation 9-1-1. Saline County is the only county in Southern Illinois that also
provides text to 9-1-1 services and was the second location in Illinois to provide text to 9-1-1. {The first was Arlington Heights, Illinois near Chicago}

As we celebrate 50 years of 9-1-1 service in the United States, it is important to remember, that the men and women who answer those emergency calls 24 hours a day/7 days a week are the nation’s “first” first responders and with out them, the emergency services of EMS, Fire and Police would not be able to respond as quickly to those that need help.

Lt. Tracy L. Felty
Saline County E-911 Director

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