Manatee County Emergency Communications Center celebrates accomplishments, improvements during 50th anniversary of U.S.'s first 9-1-1 call

  • Feb 15, 2018

MANATEE COUNTY, FL (Feb. 15, 2018) – Tomorrow, as the 50-year anniversary passes of the United States' first 9-1-1 call, Manatee County emergency call takers will recognize the day like any other: by answering calls and sending assistance to nearly 500 requests for help around the community.

"Our 9-1-1 call takers are the indispensable link between the public and first responders anytime there’s an accident, emergency or crime," said Public Safety Director Robert Smith. "They are unsung heroes and they're truly the first of the first responders." 

Fifty years ago, then-Alabama Speaker of the House Rankin Fite placed the first 9-1-1 call from Haleyville City Hall to Congressman Tom Bevill at the city's police station on Feb. 16, 1968. Since that time 9-1-1 technology has become more sophisticated and has been embraced by Manatee County Emergency Communications 9-1-1 center under the leadership of Chief Jake Saur. Each advancement has improved the County’s ability to get better, more reliable information to first responders so they can do their job of saving lives and property. 

Last fall Manatee County ECC rolled out the new PulsePoint app that allows first responders to crowdsource Good Samaritans around Manatee County by alerting citizens trained in hands-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) when someone in a nearby public place suffers sudden cardiac arrest. Communities that have incorporated PulsePoint as part of their emergency response efforts are seeing a marked improvement in cardiac patient survival rates. 

Manatee County 9-1-1 call center also became the second in Florida to adopt new technology that will save emergency responders time when home alarms sound. The new Automated Secure Alarm Protocol (ASAP) technology allows outside alarm monitoring companies such as Brinks and Vector to send information directly to our call takers in the 9-1-1 Call Center, cutting up to three minutes from call processing time. We believe about half of all Manatee County property owners with emergency monitoring systems will benefit from the new technology, meaning a significant improvement in public safety service to our community. 

Later this year Manatee County 9-1-1 will roll out out Next Generation 9-1-1 giving the Emergency Communications Center (ECC) the ability to receive call location, pictures, video and other types of data directly with a 9-1-1 call. 

Annually, the Manatee County Emergency Communications Center process over 222,000 9-1-1 calls and was recently named the 13th in the world to earn the distinction of an Accredited Center of Excellence in Fire, Police, and Medical Dispatch through the International Academy of Emergency Dispatch. The 9-1-1 center received the highest level of recognition for police dispatch making it Florida’s second Accredited Center for Excellence agency. 

For more information on Manatee County Government, visit online at www.mymanatee.org or call (941) 748-4501. You can also follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/manatee.county.fl and on Twitter, @ManateeGov.