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The Universal Emergency Number

I have to admit that I really have not thought much about how 911 became the emergency number. Yet, I know how important it is. As a side note, I  have had parents tell me that they tried to teach their young child about the number by asking them who to call in an emergency. Many smile and say that their child has replied, “Call Joel Bieber”.

That’s a good answer too! Still, we all learn at a young age when and why to call 911. Now I know the story of 911. Rather than trying to act creative in writing about it, let me post a portion of an article from It’s how the number began:

Prior to 1968, there was no standard emergency number. So how did 911 become one of the most recognizable numbers in the United States? Choosing 911 as the universal emergency number was not an arbitrary selection, but it wasn’t a difficult one either. In 1967, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) met with AT&T to establish such an emergency number. They wanted a number that was short and easy to remember. More importantly, they needed a unique number, and since 911 had never been designated for an office code, area code or service code, that was the number they chose.

Soon after, the U.S. Congress agreed to support 911 as the emergency number standard for the nation and passed legislation making 911 the exclusive number for any emergency calling service. A central office was set up by the Bell System to develop the infrastructure for the system.

On February 16, 1968, Alabama Senator Rankin Fite made the first 911 call in the United States in Haleyville, Alabama. The Alabama Telephone Company carried the call. A week later, Nome, Alaska, implemented a 911 system. In 1973, the White House’s Office of Telecommunication issued a national statement supporting the use of 911 and pushed for the establishment of a Federal Information Center to assist government agencies in implementing the system.

After its initial acceptance in the late 1960s, 911 systems quickly spread across the country. By 1979, about 26 percent of the United States population had 911 service, and nine states had passed legislation for a statewide 911 system. Through the latter part of the 1970s, 911 service grew at a rate of 70 new local systems per year, according to the NENA. Approximately 50 percent of the U.S. population had 911 service by 1987. In 1999, about 93 percent of the U.S. population was covered by 911 service.

I guess if Paul Harvey was still alive and reading this story, he would finish the blog in voice with… And now you know the rest of the story.

And for pic o’ day I am attaching two in the “education genre”;


and 1and 2

“Fighting is What Rednecks Do”

I had not been to our South Carolina office in a while. So, when I started into the parking lot, I couldn’t help but notice the surrounding brick wall outside the office,  had crumbled in an unusual way. It  looked like a car had tried to ram through the wall.

When I came in, I asked one of the paralegals, “what happened to the wall out there?” She tilted her head and shook it with a grin. “Well” she said, “a man without a shirt came racing through the parking lot and then pulled around into the road. Then, for some reason, he went back up on to the curb and halfway went through the brick wall”.

Now my curiosity was in full question mark mode. Why, how, who and what happened? In short, the man opened the car door after impact. His leg was now going in a couple different directions. But, he didn’t seem in pain as he sat there and refused to get out of the car or do anything. Almost like maybe it would all just go away.

Soon, a Greenville policeman came up but the man kept hollering to just leave him alone. This, all right outside our office windows, which explains the ability to see that he was driving without shirt. Finally, he agreed to get out of the car for emergency treatment. The officer apparently collected beer and pill bottles, which might be explanation and evidence about the erratic driving, sitting and arguing.

All that seems a bit strange, but so does the fact that the landlord has allowed the hole, bricks and wiring to just remain over one of the parking spaces, for over 2 months without anything being done. Something to do with an uneven foundation, non-matching bricks and required replacement of about 25 feet of brick wall.

Right now, I’m fascinated to see what will happen next. My guess is a continuing hole in the brick for at least another year. This sequence of events reminded me a little bit about the Florida guy that thought it was OK to fire a gun in his own yard.

Mark Wach of Palm City could not understand why the officer was arresting him for firing a gun at a lawn mower that was in his own yard. The man originally had argued with his son; Pointed a pistol and then a shotgun at his son and then jumped on top of his son, after the son had wrestled the guns away from him. All this, after the man had opened gunfire on the mower.

When the police came, they ordered the intoxicated man to stop fighting and to surrender to the deputy.  He failed to do so and refused to cooperate until the police shocked him with a taser. Finally, they got him under control and arrested him.

As he was headed off to jail, he kept asking the officer why he was arresting him. They tried to explain to him that you can’t fight and also fire a gun in your neighborhood, including at a lawn mower. He argued that, “Fighting is what redneck people do”.

The arrest report did not indicate if he shot a riding or push mower.  Can’t you see why that story reminds me of the brick driver with a pretzel leg?

Pic O’ Day is really a cartoon. Something to think about!

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