The Call - Winter 2017 - 7

OF 9-1-1

the PSAP equipment, MARS 9-1-1 phone systems, directly to the
customers. Fuller and his team of technicians developed many
innovations in 9-1-1 phone systems through the years before
the family business finally was acquired by new investors that
renamed the company Plant/CML and then Airbus.
Robert (B. W.) Gallagher, Alabama
Telephone Company & Haleyville: Gallagher
was president of the Alabama Telephone
Company when he learned that Lyndon
Johnson's 1967 "President's Commission
on Law Enforcement and Administration
of Justice" report had recommended the
establishment of a single emergency number. In January 1968,
ATT decided the three-digit emergency number would be 9-1-1.
Gallagher observed that the technical team at the Alabama
Telephone Company showed great interest in this new initiative.
As with many ideas, there was a race toward implementation.
This was the case with Gallagher, the Alabama Telephone
Company, local political leaders, and the Haleyville, AL, team,
who all wanted to be the first to deliver a 9-1-1 call in the U.S.,
as well as beat AT&T to the punch. The Alabama Telephone
Company technical team, led by Gallagher and inside plant
manager Robert Fitzgerald, evaluated the Alabama Telephone
Company's 27 phone systems and decided that Haleyville would
serve as an ideal site location. They fast-tracked the initiative,
designing the system and network that would process this new
number after-hours each day and on weekends. Their efforts
paid off: At 2 p.m. on Feb. 16, 1968, the first successful 9-1-1 call
was made by Alabama Speaker of the House Rankin Fite from
the Haleyville Mayor's Office through the Alabama Telephone
Company switching center to U.S. Rep. Tom Bevill, who was
sitting in the Haleyville police station. This became a seminal
event in the implementation of 9-1-1; validating a great idea to
improve public safety response time during an emergency.
Scott Hovey: During the early years of 9-1-1,
the delivery of a 9-1-1 call was directed to a
dispatch center within the phone company's
central office area. Many 9-1-1 calls had
to be rerouted to the correct center for
dispatch, adding seconds and affecting
rapid and timely response to the caller. A

team from the St. Louis Police Department technical bureau,
led by Harvard graduate Scott Hovey, saw this delay in delivery
of 9-1-1 calls to the correct PSAP as something that needed to
be corrected, and the team worked to develop a solution. The
"St. Louis Solution" was recognized by Roger Reinke through
his involvement with NTIA as an interesting concept. Thereafter,
a federal LEAA grant was awarded to ATT to conduct trials
of the St. Louis PD's "selective routing solution." The City of
Alameda, CA, was chosen to be the test bed for the proof of
concept for the St. Louis Solution. As a requirement of the
grant, Scott Hovey was named project manager, which required
him to move his family from St. Louis to California. In 1973, the
successful completion of the pilot proof of concept project was
completed, which we now call Selective Routing and led to
enhanced 9-1-1 services. The contribution that Hovey made to
this new technology has stood the test of time and is credited
as one of the most important technological developments that
reduced the time it takes for 9-1-1 calls to arrive at the proper
PSAP. Hovey was recognized as the second recipient of the
NENA Founders Award and is a NENA Hall of Fame member.
IAFC: No organization did more to make a three-digit
emergency number a reality in the U.S. than the International
Association of Fire Chiefs. The IAFC began the push for 9-1-1
across the U.S. in 1957, with a focus on educating the federal
government on the importance of a three-digit number that
would be available nationwide to summon police or fire
emergency response in a time-efficient manner. Finally, in 1967
the President's Commission Report agreed with the IAFC and
recommended the establishment of one three-digit number
for summoning police or fire aid in an emergency. Shortly
thereafter, on Jan. 12, 1968, AT&T announced they would
start implementing the new 9-1-1 number nationwide as the
universal emergency number.
Nathan Lee: Throughout the development
of 9-1-1, a common theme has been
debated: 9-1-1 dispatcher training. Early
on, then FCC Chairman wrote a letter
concerning his fear that 9-1-1 would not be
accepted by the American public as "the"
emergency number unless there was good
training for those who answered the public's call for help.

Read the digital edition at


Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Call - Winter 2017

President’s Message
From the CEO
The Leaders of 9-1-1 and Its Inception
Government Affairs
50 Years: 9-1-1 Grounded in Public Policy
The History of 9-1-1
Education & Training
Tech Trends
Products and Services Guide
Index to Advertisers/
The Call - Winter 2017 - Intro
The Call - Winter 2017 - cover1
The Call - Winter 2017 - cover2
The Call - Winter 2017 - 3
The Call - Winter 2017 - President’s Message
The Call - Winter 2017 - From the CEO
The Call - Winter 2017 - The Leaders of 9-1-1 and Its Inception
The Call - Winter 2017 - 7
The Call - Winter 2017 - 8
The Call - Winter 2017 - 9
The Call - Winter 2017 - 10
The Call - Winter 2017 - 11
The Call - Winter 2017 - Government Affairs
The Call - Winter 2017 - 50 Years: 9-1-1 Grounded in Public Policy
The Call - Winter 2017 - 14
The Call - Winter 2017 - 15
The Call - Winter 2017 - 16
The Call - Winter 2017 - Operations
The Call - Winter 2017 - 18
The Call - Winter 2017 - The History of 9-1-1
The Call - Winter 2017 - Education & Training
The Call - Winter 2017 - Tech Trends
The Call - Winter 2017 - Products and Services Guide
The Call - Winter 2017 - Index to Advertisers/
The Call - Winter 2017 - cover4