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National Emergency Number Association



Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Board and President's Records

Financial Records

Reports, Studies, Analyses

Contracts, Partnerships and Agreements

Membership, Staff, and Committees


Publications and Media

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National Emergency Number Association, 1977+ | Northern Illinois University

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Collection Overview

Title: National Emergency Number Association, 1977+

ID: RHC/RC/308

Extent: 8.25 Linear Feet. More info below.

Arrangement: This collection is organized into seven series:  Board and President’s Records; Financial Records; Reports, Studies, Analyses; Contracts, Partnerships and Agreements; Membership, Staff, and Committees; Conferences; Publications and Media.

Date Acquired: 04/20/2011. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: National Emergency Number Association, NENA (Association), Public safety


The records in this collection document the growth and development of the National Emergency Number Association (NENA).

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The records in this collection document the growth and development of the National Emergency Number Association (NENA).  The first series contains records from the annual Executive Board Meetings which consist of minutes, financial reports, the annual report card to the nation, membership and committee reports, and information related to public education, current initiatives, and international expansion.  The first series also contains annual chapter president’s reports that include membership summaries broken down by a month to month basis.  The second series contains additional financial information.

Series three consists of published reports on NENA activities and studies.  This includes an extensive 1999 international expansion study, Strategic Wireless Action Team (SWAT) reports, and the September 11, 2001 Report Card to the Nation (RCN) among others.

Series four contains contracts and agreements between NENA and their partner organizations, as well as the Public Safety Access Point (PSAP) registry.  Series five has membership records including membership directories, membership surveys and committee records.  Series six includes documents from annual conferences; primarily conference abstracts, Technical Development Conference (TDC/ODC), Next Generation 9-11 meetings, and the Critical Issues Forum.

In the final series, series seven, are publications and media.  NENA’s News and the Emergency Number Professional magazine makes up the majority of this series.  These quarterly magazines cover many of the issues facing 9-1-1, from logistics of equipment to dispatcher training.  It also contains news reprints, a NENA Historical Record, the Connections newsletter, and VHS and audio cassette tapes.

Collection Historical Note

In the United States, the first catalyst for a nationwide emergency telephone number gained momentum in 1957 when the National Association of Fire Chiefs recommended use of a single number for reporting fires nationwide.

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.  The use of different telephone numbers for each type of emergency was determined to be contrary to the purpose of a single, universal number.  Other Federal Government agencies and various governmental officials also supported and encouraged the recommendation.  As a result of the immense interest in this issue, the President’s Commission on Civil Disorders turned to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for a solution.  In 1968, the FCC and AT&T announced that it would establish the digits 9-1-1 as the emergency code throughout the U.S.

Congress backed AT&T’s proposal and passed legislation allowing use of only the numbers 9-1-1 when creating a single emergency calling service, thereby making 9-1-1 a standard emergency number nationwide. Senator Rankin Fite completed the first 911 call in Alabama.

In early 1977, Roger Reinke, program director for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), visited the Chicago police department to observe the new fully featured 9-1-1 system.  Illinois Bell Telephone (IBT) built and installed the advanced “selective call routing” system.  Mr Reinke managed an agreement with Illinois Bell to hold a conference in Chicago, using Chicago’s sophisticated 9-1-1 system as the center of focus.

NTIA sponsored three national 9-1-1 meetings in an effort to create industry awareness of 9-1-1 and collect information on emergency number systems currently in use.  At the close of the final conference, Jeff Rogerson (production manager of Illinois Bell) and Mr. Reinke met with Don Gordon of Illinois and James Greene and James Crooks of Wisconsin, to discuss how a new organization could be formed to continue the work of NTIA and implement 9-1-1 as a national number for the country.

At the Elburn, Illinois fire department, in the fall of 1981, Illinois organized a 9-1-1 state chapter that became the founding chapter of NENA.  The state committee (consisting of Greene, Crooks, Reinke, Rogerson, Gordon, and others) planned the first NENA conference, to be held at Pheasant Run in St. Charles, Illinois.  To accomplish the goal of “One Nation, One Number,” NENA set out to foster the technological advancement, availability, and implementation of a universal emergency telephone system.

Members of NENA are professionals in the 9-1-1 industry involved in the planning, organizing, staffing and directing of public safety emergency communications systems.  Membership also includes persons from the business sector who are involved in the design, manufacture, sale, service, etc. of systems to be used in public safety emergency systems.  Today, NENA has over 7500 members organized into chapters across the U.S. and affiliate chapters in foreign countries.

Subject/Index Terms

National Emergency Number Association
NENA (Association)
Public safety

Administrative Information

Repository: Northern Illinois University

Accruals: Additional records in paper and electronic formats were added at later dates.

Alternate Extent Statement: 114 digital files (4.15 GB)

Access Restrictions: There are no restrictions on access to the collection.

Use Restrictions: Property rights in the collection are held by the Regional History Center; literary rights are dedicated to the public.

Technical Access Note: Electronic records may be accessed on the computer in the Center’s reading room.

Acquisition Source: Brian Fontes, CEO of the National Emergency Number Association

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series I.: Board and President's Records],
[Series II.: Financial Records],
[Series III.: Reports, Studies, Analyses],
[Series IV.: Contracts, Partnerships and Agreements],
[Series V.: Membership, Staff, and Committees],
[Series VI.: Conferences],
[Series VII.: Publications and Media],

Series VI.: Conferences
Box 5
Folder 22-27: Annual Conference Abstracts, 1991-1996
Folder 28-33: Annual Conference Program Guide, 1995-2008
Box 5A
Folder 1-2: Annual Conference Program Guides, 2011-2015
Box 6
Folder 1: Critical Issues Forum: PBX Issues, 2000
Folder 2: Critical Issues Forum: Brochure, 2001-2002
Folder 3: Critical Issues Forum: Wireless Phase I and II, 2002
Folder 4: Critical Issues Forum: VoIP, April 2004
Folder 5: Critical Issues Forum: Wireless 911, 2004
Folder 6: Critical Issues Forum: VoIP, May 2004
Folder 7-9: Critical Issues Forum: 911 Goes to Washington, 2005-2007
Folder 10: Technical Development Conference (TDC/ODC):  TDC/ODC, 2001-2006
Folder 11: Technical Development Conference (TDC/ODC):  Orlando, Florida, 2004
Folder 12: Technical Development Conference (TDC/ODC):  TDC/ODC, 2004
Folder 13: Next Generation 9-11: Partnership: National Emergency Number Association (NENA), RAINS, Sphere, 2004
Folder 14: Next Generation 9-11: Programming, 2004-2005
Folder 15: Next Generation 9-11: Management Team Meeting, 2005
Folder 16: Next Generation 9-11: Responding to an Urgent Need for Change, 2005
Folder 17: Next Generation 9-11: Project, Department of Transportation/ National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (DOT/NHTSA), 2006
Folder 18: Next Generation 9-11: E 911, 2006
Folder 19: Next Generation 9-11: Topic Area Meeting, 2006
Folder 20: Next Generation 9-11: Transitioning Emergency Communications, 2006
Folder 21: Next Generation 9-11: Funding Model, 2007
Folder 22: Next Generation 9-11: Summary of Development and Results, 2007
Folder 25: Next Generation 9-11: Policy Maker Blueprint, 2008
Folder 26: Conference Planning, Long Beach, 1988
Folder 27: Annual Conference Brochures, 1999-2006
Folder 28-29: 911 Center Operations Best Practices, 2002
Folder 30: Joint Board, Technical, Operations Meeting, 2003
Folder 31: Joint Technical Meeting, 2004
Folder 32: ComCare Alliance, 2004
Folder 33: Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International Exposition, 2004
Folder 34: E911 Institute, 2005
Folder 35: Conference Evaluations, 2005
Folder 36: Geographic Information Systems Planning Council (GISPC) Brochures, 2006

Browse by Series:

[Series I.: Board and President's Records],
[Series II.: Financial Records],
[Series III.: Reports, Studies, Analyses],
[Series IV.: Contracts, Partnerships and Agreements],
[Series V.: Membership, Staff, and Committees],
[Series VI.: Conferences],
[Series VII.: Publications and Media],

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