Join Us Every Juneto Honor First Responders
We welcome you, your family, employees and friends to join us as we celebrate the First 9-1-1 Call and our First Responders. Our family friendly festival includes something for everyone: Arts/Crafts/Merchandise & Food Vendors, Free Kids Zone for ages 12 & under, Cornhole Tournament, The 9-1-1 and First Responder Awards,
Open Mic Saturday (with many local artists and groups performing), Saturday Morning 5K Color Fun Run, Classic Car Show & Antique Tractor Show, Haleyville Alumni & 9-1-1 Festival First Responders Parade.
U.S. Rep. Tom Bevill, in Haleyville, became the first person in the United States to answer a 911 emergency phone call. Alabama Speaker of the House Rankin Fite placed the call from Haleyville City Hall, and Bevill answered from the city’s police station with “Hello.” The phone call, in an attempt by Alabama Telephone Company to be the first to implement the system, occurred only 35 days after AT&T announced plans to use 911 as a nationwide emergency number. The bright red phone used to answer the call is now on display in the lobby of Haleyville City Hall.
In this photograph from the Feb. 9, 1968 issue of the “Daily Northwest Alabamian,” B.W. Gallagher (left), president of the Alabama Telephone Co., displays the bright red telephone that was installed at the Haleyville (Ala.) police station to receive the first 911 call. In the middle is Haleyville mayor James Whitt, and on the right is Robert Normal, commercial manager of ATC.
This information sign was erected at the city limits to inform residents and visitors of the new three-digit emergency telephone number.
From the Sunday, Feb. 18, 1968 issue of the “Daily Northwest Alabamian”– state Rep. Rankin Fite placing the first-ever 911 call from the mayor’s office–that’s Mayor James Whitt behind him.
U.S. Rep. Tom Bevill answers the first 911 call at the Haleyville (Ala.) police station with “Hello.” Directly behind him is Bull Connor, head of the state’s Public Service Commission, and B.W. Gallagher, president of the Alabama Telephone Co.
B.W. Gallagher, president of the Alabama Telephone Co., who decided to beat AT&T to the punch and install the nation’s first 911 system. He read about AT&T’s plan in the Wall Street Journal in January, and worked to obtain the necessary approvals for installing the system in Haleyville.
Robert Fitzgerald, inside plant manager of the Alabama Telephone Co., is at work inside the Fayette (Ala.) central office in 1968, the year he designed and helped install the gear for the first 911 system.