911 was developed in 1957 in response to the National Association of Fire Chiefs request for a single number to call to report fires.The intense interest in the concept of 911 can be attributed to recognition of characteristics of modern society; that is increased incidences of crimes, accidents, and medical emergencies, inadequacy of existing emergency reporting methods, and the continued growth and mobility of the population.
In 1967 American Telegraph and Telephone together with the FCC implemented 911 as a universal emergency number. The number was chosen because it had never been issued as an area code, office code, or service code.
November 17, 1968 the first 911 call was made in the United States by a Senator in Haleyville Alabama.
By the end of the 20th Century 96% of the geographic United States was covered by some type of 911 service.
NENA (National Emergency Number Association) has established protocols and guidelines on when to call 911 and what happens once the 911 call is placed. Please refer to the links on 911 use at the top right of this page.