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Tape Library

Since about 2006 I have collected logging tapes and other recordings from various public sources that document emergency incidents. All of these recordings are public domain and have no copyright limitations, so you can freely use them for training or otherwise distribute them. I have posted these particular recordings because they represent examples of critical or unusual calls, and provide excellent second-hand experience for a public safety dispatcher. In many cases, a 911 call here might be the only time you’ll ever encounter the situation being reported, such as an airline crash. I’ve tried to provide enough information so that you can Google names and agencies to obtain further information about the incidents.

Perhaps the most famous logging tapes were created on November 22, 1963 of the Dallas Police Department radio channels during the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The recordings were made on Dictabelt recorders, and most were arranged to start, record for an interval when it was activated by a radio transmission, and then stop (not continuously). Not all of the audio is posted on-line, but the transcripts are available at this page and this page.

In most cases I’ve converted the recordings to the common mp3 format, which allows you to easily download, play and burn the recordings to CDs. However, some computer systems may have trouble playing the recordings.

If you have recordings of unusual or critical incidents that you’d like to share, e-mail the file to me at editor@911dispatch.com.

You can browse the tapes by year from the list below, or simply search the tape library for a particular city or keyword.

Search the Library