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National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week: Celebrating the Nation’s 9-1-1 Heroes

April 12, 2024

By: Jeremy Hill, CPE, Communications Program Specialist, Office of Public Safety

The first 9-1-1 call in the United States was placed on February 16, 1968, in Haleyville, Alabama. This marked the beginning of the 9-1-1 emergency dispatch system, which is now widely used across the country for reporting emergencies and requesting assistance from police, fire, and medical services. On the other end of these 9-1-1 calls are public safety telecommunicators who exhibit extraordinary dedication to saving lives and ensuring public safety.

Photos of people in celebrating National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week

From April 14th to April 20th the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) joins the country in celebrating National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, a time to honor and recognize 9-1-1 professionals who are frontline responders during crises. It is also a time to promote the mental health, well-being and support these professionals deserve. We at NTIA are immensely grateful for and appreciative of their hard work, and we applaud these “first first responders” for their role in public safety.

NTIA will honor these dedicated public servants by featuring their stories throughout the week. On April 15th, Assistant Secretary of Commerce Alan Davidson and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Operations and Administration Karin O’Leary will visit the 9-1-1 emergency communications center of the Montgomery County, Maryland Department of Police.

NTIA is committed to prioritizing effective communication infrastructure and services that are foundational to enhancing public safety and security nationwide. We will continue working with public and private stakeholders to ensure that these 9-1-1 professionals have access to interoperable, resilient, and reliable communication networks that are essential components of our nation’s public safety.  

Much has changed in the 50 plus years that 9-1-1 has been answering the call. One thing that has not changed is the unwavering commitment and dedication of the professionals that answer that call day in and day out.  

Stay tuned for additional content from NTIA, including interviews from five emergency communication centers across the country.  

Read more about our work with next-generation 911 and the First Responder Network Authority