Not that many years ago, there was a separate telephone number for each type of emergency agency. For a fire, you called the fire department number. For a crime, you called the police or Sherriff's department. For a medical situation, you phoned the ambulance or doctor.
In 1968, the U.S. government worked with the phone company to establish 911 as a central number for all types of emergencies. An emergency telecommunicators quickly takes information from the caller and puts the caller in direct contact with whatever emergency personnel are needed, thus making response time quicker.
The very first American 911 call was placed on February 16, 1968 in Haleyville, Alabama made by Alabama Speaker of the House, Rankin Fite and answered by Congressman Tom Bevill. A picture to the right shows an original 911 switching bank from around 1970.
According to the National Emergency Number Association, 911 systems cover nearly all of the population of the United States.
Today's 911 operations are far different than those humble beginnings back in 1968. Enhanced technology, using computer aided dispatch, provides quicker access to information, and for our telecommunicators to get the help you need. The Anderson County E-911 Center is there for you when you have an emergency need.