NENA Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of 9-1-1 With Leaders in Public Safety
Friday, February 16, 2018
Posted by: Chris Nussman
9-1-1 Professionals Meet With Policymakers to Shape the Next Fifty Years of Public Safety
Hundreds of 9-1-1 leaders from across the country have gathered in the nation’s capital to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first-ever 9-1-1 call and attend the annual 9-1-1 Goes to Washington event, hosted by NENA: The 9-1-1 Association.
On February 16, 1968 history was made when the first-ever 9-1-1 call was made in Haleyville, Alabama by Rakin Flite, Alabama’s Speaker of the House. Since that day, 9-1-1 professionals have dutifully served the public as the first first responders to emergencies large and small.
This week, NENA and its members met in Washington, DC to discuss the future of 9-1-1 with federal policymakers. The issues raised by included accelerating the deployment of Next Generation 9-1-1; establishing parity of access to federal public safety grants; wireless location accuracy; and cybersecurity.
This week also saw the signing into law of significant 9-1-1 legislation. For many years, NENA and its members have advocated for improving 9-1-1 access via multi-line telephone systems (MLTS), such as those used in hotels and office buildings. NENA is pleased that on the afternoon of February 16, the President signed the bill commonly known as Kari's Law so that all Americans will have direct-access to 9-1-1 without having to dial an extra digit before 9-1-1 to reach emergency services. The law mandates that all businesses must have their phone lines in compliance within two years of the bill becoming law. The Federal Communication Commission is charged with enforcing it.
On the evening of Friday, February 16, 9-1-1 professionals, federal representatives, and regional public safety leaders will celebrate the golden anniversary of 9-1-1 at Dirty Habit in the Kimpton Monaco Hotel from 6-8pm. Attendees will enjoy a festive reception with drinks, dancing, hors d’oeuvres, and special celebrity messages honoring five decades of excellence in public safety.
“From the days of rotary phones and copper wires in the 60s and 70s, to wireless phones in the 90s, to smartphones today, thousands of unsung heroes have worked tirelessly to ensure that 9-1-1 is always there in our time of need,” said NENA CEO Brian Fontes. “Today, we celebrate the accomplishments of 9-1-1 and say thank you to 9-1-1 professionals for the life-saving services they provide daily.”