It's the number you go to in case of an emergency and it's been a lifeline for millions of people over the past half century. What is it? 9-1-1 service.

It seems like 9-1-1 emergency service has been around forever, when in actuality it's only been part of our everday lives for 50 years - 50 years ago today (2/16) in fact.

It was February 16, 1968 that the first 9-1-1 call was made in Haleyville, Alabama.

The system was created after the Federal Communications Commission met with AT&T a year earlier to talk about establishing a universal emergency number.

This wasn't the first time, however, the single phone number idea was raised. The National Association of Fire Chiefs proposed the idea a decade earlier to report fires.

AT&T eventually settled on the numbers 9-1-1 because it was easy to remember and easy to dial on rotary phones. Prior to that, people had to call an operator to report an emergency.

Source: National Emergency Number Association

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