what’s the 911 festival about and what can you do?
The 911 festival it’s a way to thank and honor the emergency work force, and to commemorate the history of the American emergency number, as suggested by the name of it. It usually takes place in June and it’s a free event in Haleyville, a little known town in Alabama. The streets close because of the many activities and things to buy, which includes crafts, music, food and kids activities. This year was the 50th anniversary and it befell on 1stand 2nd June. The singers, who performed on Friday evening, were: Craig Morgan, fourth placed on “the voice” Red Marlow, Handshake promise, Tremayne and Austin Lewis. On Saturday evening there also was an event called “Open Mic Saturday” where local artists and groups could sing. On Saturday morning the 7th annual 5K Color Fun Run and a show with classic cars and tractors took place and Haleyville Alumni First Responders made a parade.
The story behind the number 9-1-1
The citizens are proud of this event because Haleyville is the city where the first emergency call was made and where the emergency system started. This call was made on 16th February 1968 but 10 years earlier a congress has been made to decide a nation number for emergency calls. The number 911 has been chosen because there were no phone numbers with those digits. The town decided to institute it and the local Alabama Telephone Company switched to an automatic system, so people didn’t have to call several numbers before getting help anymore. Two lines were set for incoming calls but they forgot about payphones, so, when they remembered, they installed a system where you didn’t have to insert coins to call the number. The first caller was Rankin Fite at 2 p. m and he was talking to Tom Bevill, it was just a trial call but it had a big impact on the world. They actually were in the same building but in two separate rooms, because at the time in city hall there were both the mayor’s office and the police station. After the success they celebrated with doughnuts and coffee. The second system was installed a few weeks later in Nome, Alaska.