Greater Harris County 9-1-1 Emergency Network Celebrates 30 Years of 9-1-1 Service

Nov 11th, 2013

Greater Harris County 9-1-1 Emergency Network

November 11, 2013 Contact: Sonya Lopez, PIO
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (832) 237-9911 or (713) 806-9495 cell

It’s been 30 Years……..
Nearly 100 Million Calls for Help

Greater Harris County 9-1-1 Emergency Network Celebrates 30 Years of 9-1-1 Service

The largest 9-1-1 system in Texas, serving approximately 5.0 million citizens in the greater Houston metropolitan area is celebrating its 30th anniversary this month. On November 8, 1983, the Greater Harris County 9-1-1 Emergency Network (GHC 9-1-1) was created to provide 9-1-1 service throughout its territory. Back then, there were over 100 different phone numbers for residents to contact for an emergency in this area alone, instead of an easy to remember three-digit (911) emergency phone number that we all know today.

In May 1983, The Texas State Legislature authorized the creation of a Communications District in the Harris County area for the purpose of providing emergency number service to its citizens. In November of that year, the voters ratified its creation by an 82.5 percent margin, the highest voter approval in the area’s history. On January 27, 1986 the 9-1-1 emergency service became available to citizens of the Harris County area, and soon after began serving Fort Bend County.

GHC 9-1-1, one of the largest 9-1-1 systems in the United States, continues to exist to serve its citizens by providing the communication link between the citizens needing emergency assistance and emergency service providers—law enforcement, fire, and medical personnel. There are over 1,200 9-1-1 call takers answering over 4.0 million calls a year for two counties (Harris and Ft. Bend), 49 cities and over 156 law enforcement, fire and EMS response. Each day an average of 11,000 calls are placed to 9-1-1 with over 80% of those calls being from wireless phones.

GHC 9-1-1, the largest 9-1-1 system in Texas was the first enhanced 9-1-1 system
in Texas, providing phone number identification and address information to all its citizens.
It is proven each day, that 9-1-1 helps to save lives and property.

“The GHC 9-1-1 Staff and its Board of Managers are dedicated to providing the most modern, technologically advanced 9-1-1 system in the nation, for the citizens that its serves, at one of the lowest 9-1-1 service fees” said Lavergne Schwender, executive director.

GHC 9-1-1 is an excellent example of an approach to efficient, reliable public safety services focusing on call taker training, professional growth, technological development, and community involvement. For 30 years, GHC 9-1-1 has helped to lead the way in mission-critical, emergency communications technology. They have demonstrated that balancing operations and technology is the key to preparing for future technologies. This is evident with the following examples of their most recent accomplishments:

• 2011 - Received the ‘Outstanding 9-1-1 Program Award’ by the NG 9-1-1 Institute, recognizing an innovative and forward-looking plan to enhance the future viability of public safety emergency communications.
• 2009 - Completed its headquarters named the Tom Bass Building which is a Silver LEED Certified facility that supports nearly 40 call centers throughout the GHC 9-1-1 territory.
• 2003 – First major metropolitan area in the United States to provide Phase II wireless location with all wireless carriers.
• Providing an emergency notification system to all jurisdictions in its territory at no additional charge.
• A deep commitment to public education and 9-1-1 call center training at the local, state, and national levels.

For more information about GHC 9-1-1 and the area that it serves, please go to or Facebook: GHC911.


10220 Fairbanks N Houston Rd, Houston, Texas 77064
Phone: (832) 237-1911 Fax: (832) 912-1911

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