Today is the 78th anniversary of the debut of the first emergency
Here are some things you might not know about the history of
emergency telephone numbers.
First, the service was originally offered in the greater London
area of Great Britain. The number, 999, was selected because it is
easy to remember and could be dialed on a rotary phone by a person
who was visually impaired.
Second, 911 service in North America didn't begin in earnest until
1968 and some areas didn't have the device until the 1980s.
Third, mobile phones have made life difficult for emergency phone
dispatchers. Finding a precise location is more difficult than with
a landline and pocket-dialing of the emergency number has become
Our question: what was the first city in North America to have an
emergency phone number?