A life-saving innovation

Published 11:15 am Tuesday, February 13, 2018

This Friday is the 50-year anniversary of an innovation that has saved countless lives: the implementation of 911 calls.

It was at 2 p.m. on Feb. 16, 1968 when the first 911 call was placed from the mayor’s office in Haleyville, Ala., and answered a short distance away at the police station.

Fifty years later, 911 services have helped save so many lives across the nation.

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According to the National Emergency Number Association, an estimated 240 million calls are made to 911 in the United State each year, which is more than half of the country’s population.

911 is usually one of the first phone numbers we are taught as children. We learn that if you are ever in a bad situation, call 911 for help.

That hasn’t changed as the years have passed. Even smartphones have adapted to incorporate 911 calls, which made adding applications to call emergency services quicker.

With that in mind, how often do you think about those that work at a 911 center?

These women and men spend their days taking calls ranging from the inconsequential to the life-threatening. And it’s not an easy job. These people have to remain professional and calm during every second, removing the emotion from emotional circumstances. They cannot become frustrated, anxious, nervous or angry, as doing so may jeopardize a life.

If you ever get the chance to visit your local 911 center, you’ll notice that the room is quiet. It has to be. Too much noise can lead to distractions, which can then lead to mistakes.

Thankfully the training involved makes sure everyone in the room stays on task. Whenever a call comes in, the 911 operators are ready to help.

So remember this, 911 operators have helped out for the past 50 years and will continue to so for the foreseeable future. Next time you meet one, thank them for all they’ve done.