Feb 16, 1968 CE: First 9-1-1 Call

Feb 16, 1968 CE: First 9-1-1 Call

On February 16, 1968, politicians in Haleyville, Alabama, made a test call of the nation’s new emergency telephone number, 9-1-1.


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On February 16, 1968, politicians in Haleyville, Alabama, made a test call of the new emergency telephone number, 9-1-1. An emergency telephone number is an easy-to-remember number that allows a caller to quickly report an emergency to the police, an ambulance service, or the fire department. 9-1-1 is the emergency telephone number for many countries in North America, including Canada. Most countries in Europe use 1-1-2. In Australia, it’s 0-0-0. Many countries in Asia use 9-9-9. Some countries, such as Mexico, have separate numbers for police, fire, and health emergencies. Today, most places in the U.S. have “enhanced 9-1-1,” a system that helps provide a caller’s location.

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National Geographic Society
National Geographic Society
Last Updated

October 19, 2023

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