King County marks 25 years — and 48 million calls — of 911

September 3, 2010

By Staff

NEW — 10 a.m. Sept. 3, 2010

King County celebrated 25 years of 911 service Thursday at a ceremony to recognize children for using the emergency number to alert authorities to danger.

County Executive Dow Constantine and Robin Fenton, King County Sheriff’s Office technical services chief, honored the children and 911 operators at a Renton ceremony.

“These young heroes who dialed 911 during an emergency deserve our thanks for their quick thinking, and praise for remaining calm and providing information during a stressful situation,” Constantine said in a statement. “King County is pleased to have provided this life saving service for 25 years, and over the next 25 years, we will continue to keep up with technology so that we can best serve our residents.”

Mikayla Fuller, 10, dialed 911 after her mother suffered a seizure. Ivyanne Smith, 13, called 911 after a strange man followed her to the corner store.

Curtis Havili, 16, took his 13-year-old sister, Lupe, hid in the garage and dialed 911 after burglars broke into their house. Police arrived on the scene and made several arrests.

Listen to audio clips of the 911 calls made by the children here.

Operators Kristen Snow and Adrienne Byers from Valley Communications Center, and Mary Sue Balazic from the Redmond Police Communications Center, took the calls from the children.

The operators received certificates of recognition and the children received medals from Constantine.

King County became the first in Washington to implement a countywide Enhanced 911 system in September 1985. Before implementing a 911 system, emergencies had to be reported to local police or fire departments — no small feat considering the 28 police departments and 42 fire districts in King County at the time.

County 911 call centers have taken more than 48 million calls since the system came online 25 years ago.

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