Obviously, Sept. 11th will never be the same. It was originally designated as National 9-1-1 Day, but the terrorist attacks of 2001 has shifted the focus considerably. President George W. Bush proclaimed Sept. 11th as "Patriot Day," and it's expected that--understandably--national celebrations will focus on the first responders who handled the terrorist attacks, and first responders across the nation. updated 11/10/04

Nevertheless, there is still room for attention to the nation's 911 system, public safety dispatchers, and the fact that public safety communications is important to the nation's defense. Despite the changed atmosphere, comm centers should still undertake a public education campaign for the day, perhaps holding an open house, giving interviews and otherwise informing the public. The emphasis should be on "We're Prepared," stressing the personnel and resources that are ready to take their call reporting any type of emergency. There should also be a focus on the dispatchers and first responders who handled the terrorist attacks, and how their example is typical of our nation's public safety personnel.

With all this in mind, the remainder of this page presents the information that was posted--and which is still relevant--before Sept. 11, 2001.


Every year on September 11th the nation's public safety communications centers celebrate National 911 Emergency Number Day! Why was this date selected? Well, if you use all numbers to describe the date, you'll realize why: 9-11-2002.

The day was first proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan in 1987 with Public Law 99-448, and has been celebrated ever since.

Here are some of the activities and events we've heard of:

We hope other agencies are using this time to educate residents about 911, and the PSAPs and personnel who handle their calls. It's a great opportunity!