A Brief History of the 911 Operating System

Thanks to GeoConex the 911 operating system has come a long way. These days Public Service and Homeland Security Organizations depend on hardware and software that features the latest innovations. GPS Mapping, JMS Solutions, Cartography Design, RMS and EMS Solutions, consulting service and training solutions are just a few of the services provided by GeoConex, but those services weren’t available back in 1968 when a man by the name of Robert, or Bob, Fitzgerald along with his colleagues installed the very first 911 emergency system, implemented in Haleyville, Alabama, but not everyone agrees. 

In fact, Gary Allen describes several events that occurred before 1968 with the following being verified. 

In July of 1937, the first 999 emergency phone systems to service the fire and police departments were in Hampstead London. 

Britain does it again in 1957 when the National Association for Fire Chiefs suggested the use of a single digit to report fires. During that same year, Australia implemented a 999 emergency number while in December of 1957, The California Highway Patrol, or CHP introduced the traffic emergency number known as Zenith 1-2000. 

Not far behind, New Zealand began to use their very own 111 emergency numbers. 

It wasn’t until Jun 21, 1959 that the first three-digit emergency phone system, 999, was introduced into Canada becoming the first emergency three-digit telephone system in North America. 

In 1961, Australia began introducing a 000 emergency number into the metropolitan parts of the country. 

Although President Lyndon B Johnson recommended the use of a single digit emergency phone number in 1967 it never quite eventuated with AT & T announcing their own designated 911 universal emergency phone number. This was announced at a press conference in Washington DC. 35 days later the very first 911 call was made from Haleyville City Hall to the city’s police station with US Representative Tom Bevill reportedly answering with a simple, “Hello.” 

The rest of the states soon followed suit with California and Texas implementing its first 911-phone system in 1970. 

The White House encouraged nationwide adoption of the 911-telephone operating system in 1973 with New York including EMS, fire, and police into its expanded 911 service. 

According to several documented reports, the United States Military was actually using the numbers 1-1-7 to report United States military base fires. 

Much has changed since the early days, but thanks to GeoConex, today’s 911 telephone operating system is smarter than it used to be, and continues to improve with the sophisticated software and hardware systems from GeoConex.