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Thursday, 24 May 2018
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History of 9-1-1

9-1-1 is a three-digit telephone number that has been set aside as the telephone number to be used in the event of an emergency and as a means of calling for police, fire, or emergency medical assistance.  In some countries, a three-digit number has been used for many years.  Great Britain has used the digits 999 since 1930, Belgium uses 900, Denmark uses 000.  The concept of a three-digit emergency number in the United States is the result of the urging of some concerned citizens and the Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement in 1967, that a single telephone number be established nationwide for reporting emergency situations.  In January 12, 1968, American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) designated 9-1-1 to be used throughout the country as the dedicated emergency telephone number. During the 1970's, a movement began to provide nationwide support and coordination of 9-1-1.  Beginning with California, several states passed legislation encouraging or mandating local installation of 9-1-1 systems.  In Texas, the earliest systems were city-oriented and primarily funded through the assistance of federal grants.  The first 9-1-1 system installed in Texas was the City of Odessa in April 1970.  The 9-1-1 system replaces existing seven-digit emergency numbers, which are difficult to remember and vary between services and communities.  As the availability of federal funds declined, cities and counties were left to use general fund appropriations for the implementation of systems.  In 1987, House Bill 911 laid the framework for statewide implementation of 9-1-1 through local Councils of Governments, also known as Regional Planning Commissions.

SETRPC 9-1-1 Mission

"To implement, administer, and oversee the fiscally responsible operation of the Enhanced 9-1-1 emergency telephone system in Hardin, Jefferson and Orange counties."

The Network is responsible for the following programs and activities:

  • providing basic telecommunicator training for dispatchers on the handling of 9-1-1 calls and the use of 9-1-1 equipment
  • providing training to dispatchers on the use of a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) in compliance with the American's with Disabilities Act
  • providing specialized training for dispatchers in the areas of Law Enforcement, Fire, Emergency Medical Dispatching and Stress Identification and Management
  • developing, implementing and maintaining a continuing education program for ages pre-school through senior citizen on the proper use of 9-1-1
  • informing the public about the use of 9-1-1 through news releases and media campaigns
  • continually verifying, updating and maintaining a complete data base of area street ranges and addresses
  • completing a tri-county rural addressing project, which is critical in selectively routing emergency calls and assisting emergency service providers in locating rural residents in the most timely manner
  • maintaining rural addressing in Hardin, Jefferson and Orange counties and assigning physical street addresses for new houses, buildings and developments; and
  • serving as the primary liaison between telephone companies, local governments and elected officials, and public and private emergency service providers.