Celebrate The History Of The First 911 Call At The Haleyville Heritage Day Festival And Visit The Natural Bridge Park

    When there's an emergency one of the first reactions we have is to call 911 for help. Search for the phrase 911 online and you'll discover many links to the devastating events on 9-11-2001. What you may have missed if you did not scroll down is the actually history of the first 911 call that begins in Haleyville, Alabama.

    Whenever I hear the phrase "What's in a name?" I think of Haleyville, Alabama. First known as Davis Crossing for the early settler, Bucky Davis, the town soon found its self with a new name when businessman Charles Haley made a deal to buy a suit of clothes if the town's name would be changed to Haleyville after him. So, here we are today, and the town has still retained its hometown charm, and is the home to the annual 911/Heritage Day Festival held in early June.

    What makes this festival especially unique is also related to Haleyville's history; it is where the first 911 call made in 1968 by State Senator Rankin Fite, who called from the office of Mayor James Whitt. So often these little tidbits of history become overlooked as time goes on, yet here in Haleyville it is celebrated each year.

    What makes this festival especially great for families are the numerous activities focusing around the 911 theme, in which rescue and emergency crews participate. The family friendly events are an ideal way to introduce children to safety techniques and learn what to do in a emergency as well. As we've all heard in the news at one time or another children of all ages have saved their loved ones because they knew how to dial 911 for help! With that thought in mind, below are a few things to tell a dispatcher if you or a loved one ever needs to call 911:

    Help is just a phone call away -

    *** Let the 911 call handler know what is wrong and where you are located.

    *** Give them the address, include building number and name, apartment number, and the nearest cross street if you know it.

    *** Give a description of landmarks that stand by your location such as a store or perhaps your house has a red door.
    The 911 call handler may ask other questions if they need more information related to the crisis. Be patient; help will be sent.

    Across the country cities have updated or modified their existing emergency reporting systems to meet changing demands of technology. Some of these changes now give dispatchers the advantages of Caller ID so they can view the phone number, the name of the person calling, and their addresses. With such enhancements available to the 911 call dispatchers are better able to help emergency crews find you when you're in trouble even if the call is lost.

    A Word Of Thanks - On behalf of everyone who has ever had to call 911 we send our thanks to the dispatchers, all the first responders, emergency crews, and everyone else who are there when we need them. You're hard work and dedication are appreciated greatly!

    The 911/Heritage Day Festival has something for everyone, including arts, crafts, music, a parade and much more. And nearby are several recreation areas so you can also enjoy fun outdoors at the Natural Bridge Park, the William Bankhead National Forest, or Kinlock Falls during your visit as well.
    Plan Your Trip

    By Leroy Worley

    Getting There:

    To learn more about the Haleyville 911/Heritage Day Festival and other events and attractions in Alabama visit http://www.alabama.travel/