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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 VII.: Publications and Media
Box 6
Folder 37: Newspaper Article: Founding of National Emergency Number Association (NENA), no date
Folder 38: Newspaper Article: Bill Stanton, 2006
Folder 39: National Emergency Number Association (NENA) Historical Record, 1993
Folder 40: Ad Copy, National Emergency Number Association (NENA) News and Connections; Sally Cell Phone, no date; 2010
Folder 41: Connections Newsletter, 1999-2002
Folder 42: National Emergency Number Association (NENA) News Reprints, 1990-1994
Folder 43: National Emergency Number Association (NENA) News Reprints, 1990
Folder 44-46: National Emergency Number Association (NENA) News, 1982-1988, 1988-1990
Box 7
Folder 1-14: National Emergency Number Association (NENA) News, 1991-2004
Folder 15-22: EPN Magazine, 2004-2010
Item 1: Books: The 911 Puzzle (1st edition), 1993
Box 8
Item 1: Books: The 911 Puzzle (2nd edition), 1995
Item 2: Books: E 911 Database Guide, (1st edition), 1994
Item 3: Books: E 911 Database Guide, (2nd edition), 1996
Item 4: Books: Addressing Systems, 1995
Item 5: Books: Managing the 911 Call Center, 1996
Item 6: Books: Human Resource Management in 911, 1997
Item 7: Books: Public Education in 911, 1997
Box 9
Cassette Tape 1: VHS Tapes: Oprah Winfrey TV Show, 1992
Cassette Tape 2: VHS Tapes: The Challenges of 911, 1995
Cassette Tape 3: VHS Tapes: Bill Stanton Interview, 1996
Cassette Tape 4: VHS Tapes: Educational Updates, 1998
Cassette Tape 5: VHS Tapes: 911 PSA National Emergency Number Association (NENA), Don Johnson, 1999
Cassette Tape 6: VHS Tapes: National Emergency Number Association (NENA) One Nation... One Number, no date
Cassette Tape 7: VHS Tapes: Philadelphia, no date
Cassette Tape 8: VHS Tapes: Oprah and Bill Stanton, no date
Cassette Tape 9: VHS Tapes: 911, Know When to Call, no date
Digital Versatile Disc (DVD) 1: Chicago 911 Promotional Film, circa 1977
Box 10
Item 1-2: Leather binders with "911 Emergency- NENA" logo (2), no date
Box 11
Item 1: Plaque to William E. Stanton, Executive Director from 1990-1991; presented June 12, 1991, 1990-1991

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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