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50 Years of 911 Services in Indiana

HUNTINGTON, INDIANA  — March 1, 2018, marked 50 years of 911 service in the state of Indiana. Indiana Treasurer of State joined other key stakeholders in Huntington, Indiana where the first call was successfully made.

“As the chair of the Statewide 911 Board, it was my honor to recognize the innovation and forward thinking Indiana had 50 years ago” said Treasurer Mitchell.

The press conference included the Huntington Mayor Brooks Fetters, Huntington County Sherriff Terry Stoffel, Huntington County Dispatch Director Melissa Taylor and AT&T Indiana President Bill Soards.

“I have many fond memories of my friend and mentor Congressman J. Edward Roush. He introduced me to public service and the campaign trail during his re-election bid to Congress in 1972. He was the quintessential Huntington boy of humble means going to Washington, serving as our Congressman from 1958-1976. Among his many noteworthy accomplishments as a public servant in his singular leadership to bring the 911 system to life back in 1968. Today we honor Huntington’s own Congressman J. Edwards Roush for his role in making our country a safer and more connected place” remembered Huntington Mayor Fetters.

Mayor Fetters is honoring Rep. Roush with a proclamation marking today as “Congressman J. Edward Roush Day”. Members from the Roush family were in attendance at the event.

“Huntington, Ind. became the first American city served by the AT&T-owned Bell System to receive 911 50 years ago today,” said Bill Soards, president of AT&T Indiana. “We’re proud to celebrate this historic milestone right here in Indiana as we continue to work side-by-side with public safety and move into the next generation of public safety communications.”

Congressman Roush, “The Father of 911”, was a member of the subcommittee Science, Research and Development of the Committee on Science and Astronautics. There he launched a one-man campaign to bring a single national number to reach emergency services. On Friday, Jan. 12, 1968, Ben S. Gilmer, president of AT&T, announced at a press conference the adoption by the AT&T-owned Bell System of “9-1-1” as a nationwide emergency telephone number.

The family of Rep. Roush was presented an award by Treasurer Mitchell and Ed Reuter, the Executive Director of the Statewide 911 Board, in honor of his significant impact on emergency services for Indiana and the United States.

Now, over 240 million calls are made to 911 in the U.S. each year. There were over 5 million calls to 911 and 170,000 text sessions in Indiana in 2017.

SOURCE: News release from the Office of Indiana Treasurer of State Kelly Mitchell