Blog
Blog
West Corporation

Posted on February 12, 2018 by West Corporation 


Blog  

Share


The History of 911: A Timeline

Throughout 2018, West is celebrating 50 years of 911. This timeline provides a look back at the history of 911 and emergency communications. It tracks the key legislative events and technological advancements that have helped shape 911 into the system we know today.

1957
1957

The National Association of Fire Chiefs introduces the concept of a single emergency number to report fires.

1967
1967

A report to President Lyndon Johnson recommends the establishment of a single national emergency number.

1968
1968

AT&T designates 911 as the national emergency telephone number.

On February 16, the first 911 call is placed from Haleyville, Alabama.

1972
1972

Canada adopts 911 as the national emergency number.1

The FCC recommends that 911 be implemented nationwide.

1973
1973

The U.S issues a national policy statement to encourage the use of 911.

1976
1976

17% of U.S. population is covered by 911.2

 

1979
1979

25% of the U.S. population is covered by 911.2

 

1983
1983

The first commercially-available cell phone is produced, setting the stage for dramatic changes in how the public communicates with 911.4

1987
1987

50% of the U.S. population is covered by 911.2

 

1996
1996

The FCC adopts rules for Phase I wireless location.3

Phase I wireless location mandates require carriers to provide a 911 caller’s phone number plus the location of the cell tower transmitting the call to public safety.

1999
1999

The FCC adopts rules for Phase II wireless location.

  • Phase II location requires that carriers provide the latitude/longitude (X/Y) of 911 callers to public safety.5 An X/Y is still not an optimal location for public safety, as it does provide a physical—or civic—address for the first responders. 

President Clinton signs the Wireless Communications and Public Safety Act into law.

  • The Act outlines increased support for states to perform system upgrades and promotes further build out of wireless 911 service and “seamless, ubiquitous, and reliable networks”.

 

2001
2001

97% of the U.S. population is covered by 911.6

 

2005
2005

FCC adopts E911 mandates for voice-over-IP (VoIP) service providers.

  • The legislation requires VoIP service providers (VSPs) to deliver a 911 caller’s phone number and registered location to public safety.
2009
2009

First successful text-to-911 message is sent in Black Hawk County, Iowa.

2012
2012

Washington state implements the first statewide ESInet.

  • ESInets are interconnected IP-based 911 networks capable of enabling text, video and photo communications (in addition to voice), as well as providing backup support during periods of high call volume.
2015
2015

FCC adopts rules to improve location accuracy using a “dispatchable address” or X/Y within 50 meters for wireless 911 calls.

  • The FCC’s Fourth Report & Order introduces the concept of a “dispatchable address”, which is the address that first responders will knock on in case of emergency.
2016
2016

AT&T announces a nationwide ESInet.

2017
2017

Kari’s Law passes both House and Senate.

  • House and Senate have each passed their own version of the bill, which eliminates the need to dial a prefix i.e., “9” before calling 911 from multi-line telephone system. It also requires that a central contact at the facility be notified of a 911 call (if the system can be configured to do so without improvement to hardware or software).
2018
2018

President Trump signs H.R. 582 (Kari’s Law)

All 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C. and 5 territories opt into FirstNet.7

  • FirstNet is a dedicated nationwide broadband network that will help first responders and public safety agencies communicate and share information during emergencies, large events or when commercial 911 networks become congested.


West Corporation

utility-side-menu