911 was first implemented in 1968, the first 911 call was taken in Haleyville, Alabama. Early 911 was much simpler than it is now, they had one dispatcher, one phone, one radio, one or two officers, a volunteer fire department, and volunteer ambulance service. They did not have formal training, caller ID, 911 screens, mapping or the ability to call people back. 911 is now much more advanced and complex. 911 screens tell us where people are, where the call is coming from, we now have multiple dispatchers, officers, and fire department personnel. More training and certifications are required for dispatchers. In 1995, APCO (Association of Public Safety Communications Officials) announced Project 33, which would establish standards for dispatcher. In 1999, the U.S. Congress officially recognized 911.
The first 911 call in Arkansas was in the 1970s.
The 911 calls for the City of Jacksonville, were originally taken by Dispatchers at the Police Department, who would give the information to first responders by phone and radio. In 1980, the Fire Department developed their own Dispatch Center that was based out of Central Fire Station on Redmond Road. The Police Dispatcher answered 911 calls and would transfer medical or fire 911 calls to the Fire dispatcher. In 1998, the city combined the Police and Fire Dispatchers, to create the Jacksonville 911 Center. In 2014, the 911 Center was moved to a new state-of-the-art facility located inside a Tornado Safe Room. Our 911 Dispatchers handle over 23,000 emergency and non-emergency phone calls per year from the Citizens of Jacksonville and the surrounding Cities and Counties. The Jacksonville 911 Center is one of the few 911 Centers where Dispatchers are certified to provide Emergency Medical Dispatch Instructions (EMD) over the phone prior to an Ambulance arriving on scene. This allows us to provide life-saving instructions such as CPR, Heimlich Maneuver (choking), traumatic injury and child birth instructions while the Ambulance is en route. Statistics show that the sooner CPR and other life-saving measures are started the greater the chance of survival; we are proud to be able to offer this service to our Citizens.