Why is 911 the emergency number?

We all know that 911 is the universal emergency number for citizens of the USA. No matter where you are if you need help then this is the number you should be dialing to get prompt help. Ever wondered why 911 ?? why not any other combination of digits for emergency services. That’s what exactly we are going to tell you today.

911, emergency number

It all started way back in 1957 when the national association of fire chiefs proposed that there should be a single number to report fire incidences nationwide. Before this appeal or idea was generated there was no system of unified emergency response. Every state and place had a different dial number for fire emergencies. This posed a very practical problem as people had to remember different emergency numbers if they moved out of their locations.

In 1967 the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice opined that there should be a single emergency dial number applicable for the entire USA. This was a very welcome move considering the fact number of emergencies in the US was on the rise and people were losing life and property by not getting timely assistance.

In November 1967 FCC met with AT&T to devise a solution to the issue in hand.  AT&T was tasked with the work to find out a solution as well as the unique number. They came up with a wonderful solution and a unique number “911” the reason 911 was chosen because it was easy to dial, easy to remember and was not used anywhere else in the USA. This made this number the first and the only choice for emergency services in the US.

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911 also was easy for all telephone operators to implement in those times. Since it was really short and easy to dial the switching problems which the technology of that era had was removed.  It also met the requirements of all the parties involved. It was easy for the end user (public) to remember. It was easy for the operators to implement had no trunk call issues and was destined for a unified emergency number.

911, emergency number

Every year in excess of 150 million calls is received on this emergency number. Over the decades 911 has saved millions of lives and property worth billions of dollars. Currently, 93% of the US population is serviced by this emergency number. If you look at the scale at which this number is operating your mind will get baffled.

Imagine the efforts and infrastructure that would be required to run a service of such magnitude. 911 emergency operations employ thousands of people working round the clock to provide a more secure space for the American citizens. 911 is so easy to remember that even the persons not belonging to the US remember this number. It has become a synonym of emergency services. It also gives the much-needed hope to those in distress. They know that when things go out of control then 911 will surely be there to help them out.

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