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Southern Oregon Dispatchers Celebrate 50 Years Of 911 Calls

Dispatchers across the United States are celebrating 50 years of helping people during the scariest moments of their lives.

Posted: Feb 16, 2018 5:41 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. -- Dispatchers across the United States are celebrating 50 years of helping people during the scariest moments of their lives. The first 911 call was made in 1968. It wasn't until 1957 that the push came for a nationwide American emergency phone number. That's when the National Association of Fire Chiefs recommended a single number be used for reporting fires. 10 years later, the Federal Communications Commission and AT&T agreed on a number they said was simple, easy to remember and dialed easily.

Johnna Pellam, Performance Manager with Emergency Communications of Southern Oregon, said things have changed a lot over the last 50 years.

"That first 911 call placed was answered with a simple 'Hello,'" Pellam said.

Now, dispatchers answer the phone with a question, "911, what is the address of your emergency?"

Pellam said that is the most important piece of information a dispatcher can get from someone, as well as a number they can be reached at if the call drops.

"Location is a must especially with 80 percent of phone calls now being wireless, they're not going to give us that perfect address like the 20 percent of the 911 calls we get coming from home phones," Pellam said.

Dispatchers at ECSO answer about 1,200 calls on any given day. Pellam said they're not all 911 calls.

"Last year we answered or processed 441,444 phone calls and 113,000 of those were not 911 calls," Pellam said.

She said it's important for parents to teach kids to memorize their address and nearby landmarks in case they ever need to call 911.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 394569

Reported Deaths: 5243
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah60720847
Washington42359405
Marion40153516
Clackamas33040387
Lane30428361
Jackson25105363
Deschutes23795189
Umatilla15144184
Linn14859183
Douglas13523293
Josephine10278247
Yamhill9840143
Klamath9112149
Polk8325102
Benton615338
Malheur593292
Coos5768109
Columbia438056
Jefferson424366
Lincoln365852
Crook343057
Union340756
Wasco318646
Clatsop263635
Baker221833
Tillamook218046
Hood River216537
Morrow197825
Curry193939
Harney121333
Grant109116
Lake105617
Wallowa76313
Sherman1933
Gilliam1854
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5105427

Reported Deaths: 74781
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles153243027225
San Diego4091824350
Riverside3892365381
San Bernardino3762805983
Orange3352965756
Sacramento1690952452
Kern1582701828
Fresno1574692270
Santa Clara1528571928
Alameda1256281512
San Joaquin1080791835
Ventura1043091192
Contra Costa1042181056
Stanislaus919641429
Tulare867391100
San Francisco57141674
San Mateo56585631
Monterey52842626
Solano47828360
Santa Barbara47523555
Merced45309671
Sonoma43349414
Placer42458473
Imperial38932776
Kings35370367
San Luis Obispo31667360
Madera26388311
Shasta26221461
Butte25608318
Santa Cruz22402224
Yolo21722261
Marin18587249
El Dorado18448168
Sutter14646186
Napa13446106
Yuba1079891
Tehama10316131
Humboldt10294119
Nevada10112105
Mendocino864999
Lassen797656
San Benito787979
Tuolumne778491
Lake7057113
Amador580067
Siskiyou479657
Glenn458536
Calaveras445788
Del Norte377942
Colusa328321
Inyo257346
Plumas19577
Mono19034
Mariposa162218
Trinity100717
Modoc7936
Sierra2190
Unassigned1560
Alpine1080
Out of CA00
Medford
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Brookings
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