In the United States, the first catalyst for a nationwide emergency telephone number was in 1957, when the National Association of Fire Chiefs recommended use of a single number for reporting fires.
In 1967, the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice recommended that a “single number should be established” nationwide for reporting emergency situations. On February 16, 1968, Senator Rankin Fite completed the first 9-1-1 call made in the United States in Haleyville, Alabama.
By the end of 1976, 9-1-1 was serving about 17% of the population of the United States. 9-1-1 had not arrived in Sacramento, yet.
Prior to 1976, there were 23 fire districts in Sacramento County all with their own individual phone number. Each district also had their own dispatchers and each dispatch center was staffed differently —some were firefighters who would take turns working in dispatch answering the phone; others were staffed by secretaries during the day and firefighters at night. One agency even had volunteer wives dispatching out of their home. A few agencies had full-time dispatchers, but their duties also included a great deal of clerical work.
In December of 1976, the Florin, Pacific, Fruitridge, and Sloughhouse Fire Districts consolidated their dispatch centers into one and called it “Central.” Central was located at Fire Station 51 on Florin Rd. Central was staffed by one dispatcher at a time working eight hour shifts reducing the number of dispatch centers to 20.
In 1978, the North Highlands Fire District contracted with the Citrus Heights Fire District for dispatching, thus reducing the number of dispatch centers to 19.
In January 1979, the Arcade, Arden, and Carmichael Fire Districts consolidated their Communications, Training, and Fire Prevention functions. The new communications center was called “Control,” and was located at Arcade Fire Station 1 (now Sac Metro FS 101) on Fulton Avenue. Control was staffed by two (2) dispatchers working a 56 hour work week—24 hour shifts. This reduced the number of dispatch centers from 19 to 16.
In 1980, the Elk Grove, Courtland, Walnut Grove, Rio Linda, and Elverta Fire Districts contracted with Control for dispatching and thus reducing the number of dispatch centers from 16 to 11.
In January of 1981, Central merged with the Rancho Cordova, Fair Oaks, and Citrus Heights Fire Districts to form the Sacramento County Fire Communications Center (County Fire). In addition, the Natomas Fire District contracted with the City of Sacramento for fire protection and communications. The dispatch center for County Fire was located at Citrus Heights Fire Station 21, on Greenback Lane, and was staffed by 2-3 dispatchers working eight hour shifts.
In 1981, the Wilton Fire District also contracted with Control for dispatching. This reduced the number of centers from 11 to six.
In July 1983, Control and County Fire merged. They kept the name “County Fire” and maintained two dispatch centers—one at Citrus Heights Fire Station 21 and one at Arcade Fire Station 1. Both centers were staffed by dispatchers working 8 hour shifts.
In March of 1984, Folsom Fire District contracted its communications with County Fire reducing the number of centers to four.
In February of 1985, County Fire’s two dispatch centers moved into one building at 10230 Systems Parkway. This reduced the number of centers from four to three.
In October of 1986, the Herald Fire Department joined its communications with County Fire reducing the number of dispatch centers to two.
In July of 1990, the name was changed from Sacramento County Fire Communications Center to the Sacramento Regional Fire/EMS Communications Center.
In 1996, the City of Sacramento FD joined the Sacramento Regional Fire/EMS Communications Center, thus reducing the dispatch centers to one (1).
In May of 2016, the Isleton Fire Department and the River Delta Fire Department left Solano County dispatch and joined the Sacramento Regional Fire/EMS Communications Center.
Today, led by Teresa Murray— a 30 year veteran and her command staff of Linda Luis and Joyce Starosciak the Sacramento Regional Fire/EMS Communications Center is quickly becoming the premier 9-1-1 dispatch agency in the State of California.