9-1-1

From the first 9-1-1 call placed in Haleyville, Alabama in 1968 to today, a whole lot of people have been helped through life-threatening emergencies. A big THANKS to all those who do the responding!!

 

“Help!”.  Something we hear often at KHT.  Mostly from loyal customers and new prospects unhappy with their distortion sensitive thermal processing results.  Sometimes their materials under-perform, then production slows, impacting costs.  Sometimes they are just trying to keep things on schedule. Often, it’s my favorite – those PIA (Pain In The @%$) Jobs! – the ones that cost you time and money, bringing everything to a screeching halt and just wrecking your day.  About 60 years ago, the President’s Commission understood the importance of HELP, and decided it was time to create a national “single number” people could call. Just like our PIA call to action, people jump right on it – fire, police, and other emergency responders. This weekend marks the anniversary of the first call 9-1-1 – that amazing universal number we often take for granted.  It’s managed by the NENA – 13,000 members and 47 chapters strong – dedicated to saving lives, by providing an effective and accessible 9-1-1 service for North America. Here’s some trivia to learn more 9-1-1, NENA, and how it all got started.  Big high five to those great people, always on the front lines, ready to respond.  Thanks Wikipedia and NENA for the info.

 

  1. The three-digit telephone number “9-1-1” has been designated as the “Universal Emergency Number,” for citizens throughout the United States to request emergency assistance. It is intended as a nationwide telephone number and gives the public fast and easy access to a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP).
  2. The NENA organization has been connected to 9-1-1 every step of the way.  Serving as a link in the delivery of emergency services, 9-1-1 has, throughout its evolution, become recognized as a great asset throughout the country.
  3. The first catalyst for a nationwide emergency telephone number was in 1957, when the National Association of Fire Chiefs recommended use of a single number for reporting fires.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 November 1967, the FCC met with the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) to find a means of establishing a universal emergency number that could be implemented quickly.
  6.  In 1968, AT&T announced that it would establish the digits 9-1-1 (nine-one-one) as the emergency code throughout the United States. The code 9-1-1 was chosen because it best fit the needs of all parties involved. First, and most important, it met public requirements because it is brief, easily remembered, and can be dialed quickly. Second, because it is a unique number, never having been authorized as an office code, area code, or service code, it best met the long-range numbering plans and switching configurations of the telephone industry.
  7. 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.
  8. On February 16, 1968, Senator Rankin Fite completed the first 9-1-1 call made in the United States in Haleyville, Alabama. The serving telephone company was then Alabama Telephone Company. This Haleyville 9-1-1 system is still in operation today.
  9. In March 1973, the White House’s Office of Telecommunications issued a national policy statement which recognized the benefits of 9-1-1, encouraged the nationwide adoption of 9-1-1, and provided for the establishment of a Federal Information Center to assist units of government in planning and implementation.
  10. In the early 1970s, AT&T began the development of sophisticated features for the 9-1-1 with a pilot program in Alameda County, California. The feature was “selective call routing.” This pilot program supported the theory behind the Executive Office of Telecommunication’s Policy.
  11. By the end of 1976, 9-1-1 was serving about 17% of the population. By ‘79, approximately 26% of the population of the United States had 9-1-1 service, and by ‘87, those figures had grown to indicate that 50% had access.  Today, pproximately 96% of the geographic US is covered by some type of 9-1-1.
  12. Over 80% of 911 calls in the United States are placed from wireless phones, and the rate is increasing. About 240 million calls are made each year.
  13. Some Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) report that 15%–20% of incoming 911 calls are non-emergencies. An emergency is a life-threatening situation where every second counts, such as a heart attack, uncontrolled asthma attack, child birth in progress, any event involving large amounts of blood, uncontrolled fire, a life-threatening event such as a knife fight, an armed robbery in progress, or a serious car accident (not a fender bender).
  14. While North America uses 911 as an emergency number, other countries dial 999. For all members of the European Union and several other countries, 112 is an emergency number that can be dialed for free of charge.
  15. The world’s oldest emergency phone number is the U.K’s 999 number that was introduced on June 30, 1937. It was implemented after a call to the fire brigade was held in a queue with the telephone company. The delay cost five women their lives in the fire.
  16. The first arrest due to an emergency call happened on July 8, 1937, at 4:20 a.m. when the wife of John Stanley Beard dialed 999 to report a burglar outside her home in England. The burglar, 24-year-old Thomas Duffys, was arrested.
  17. North America’s first emergency telephone number, 999, was first introduced in Winnipeg, Canada. There were originally eight women Emergency Telephone Operators.
  18. In 1996, a teenager in Sweden hacked into a Southern Bell computer system. He created a computer code that made simultaneous 911 calls to several counties in Florida. He managed to jam several 911 switches.
  19. Known as the “The City Where 911 Began,” Haleyville, Alabama, holds a 911 festival every year that honors all police, fire, and emergency personnel.
  20. The phone used to answer the first 911 call in the United States is in a museum in Haleyville, Alabama. A duplicate is still used at the police station there.
  21. A woman in Deltona, Florida, was arrested after she called 911 four times to complain about a nail technician doing a poor job on her nails. Even with a police deputy sitting next to her, she still called 911 to complain that her nails were too short.

Click here to read other silly calls – thanks People Magazine

(top left) The very first 9-1-1 call was made to this red phone. (top right) floor graphic at Haleyville city hall. (row two) Commemorative plaque at Haleyville, AL. (row three left) Senator Rankin Fite. (row three right) Haleyville, Alabama, holds a 911 festival every year. (bottom) An early 9-1-1 dispatch center and today’s typical look. 

 

I have a solution…

(row one) rough drawing of the drinking tube, Joseph B. Friedman and his more refined patent drawing; (row two) The Flex-Straw was first marketed to hospitals; In the early 1950’s, Roy Rogers endorsed the Flex-Straw in an ad aimed at kids; (row three) The Flex-Straw infused with strawberry, chocolate and coffee (for mom?); 1940s – 1950s packaging. (other images) These straws were totally made for sharing a beverage with your BFF…or not.

 

Problem solving and ideas – the “backbone and spirit” of Kowalski Heat Treating – it’s what keeps us on “our game” every single day and what our customers expect from us – solving your pesky PIA (Pain In The @#$) Jobs.  As the guy at the top, like most leaders, I get such a charge when my folks come in and say “Steve, we’ve worked on a bunch of different solutions, and we’re pretty sure we got it.”  BAM.  Just like that, problem solved.  And the best part for me is when I get to pick up the phone and call my customers and say – “yep, we figured it out”.

Recently I was reading an article about an inventor who was born in Cleveland back in 1900, and invented, to this day, one of my all-time favorites – the bendy straw.  Like so many inventors, he saw a problem (this one happened to be with his daughter and sitting at a soda shop), experimented, came up with a solution, and then went on to prototyping, a patent and manufacturing.  So, to fully enjoy this post, make yourself a yummy root beer and ice cream float, (oh yea, one of my favorites), put in a flexible straw, sit back and enjoy the read.  I’m not sure about you all, but one of my favorite things is to blow bubbles in the glass – certainly takes me back and Jackie will just shake her head, again!  Special thanks to Smithsonian, Wikipedia and the Atlantic Magazine for confirming the facts for me.  And thanks Joe for your problem-solving solution – KHT salutes you!

  1. Historians don’t know what civilization first came up with the idea of sticking tubes into cups and slurping, but the earliest evidence of straws comes from a seal found in a Sumerian tomb dated 3,000 B.C. It shows two men using what appear to be straws taking beer from a jar. (BRILLIANT!) In the same tomb, archeologists also found history’s first known straw – a tube made from gold and the precious blue stone lapis lazuli.
  2. In the 1880’s, gentlemen sipped their whiskey through long tubes made of natural rye that lent a grassy flavor to whatever drink they plopped in. For many centuries, it was not uncommon to order a gin and tonic and wind up drinking it infused with natural grass flavors. Marvin Chester Stone didn’t have much patience when it came to non-mint plants floating around in his mint julep, and did something. He reinvented the straw.
  3. In his first try, he wound paper around a pencil to make a thin tube, slid out the pencil from one end, and applied glue between the strips. Voila: paper straw! Also: glue? Stone refined it by building a machine to wind paper into a tube and coat the outside with a paraffin wax to keep it from melting in bourbon. He patented the product in 1888. Today, Marvin Chester Stone is considered the godfather of the paper straw.
  4. Joseph B. Friedman, born October 9, 1900 in Cleveland, Ohio, was a first generation American and the fifth of eight children. An independent American inventor with a broad range of interests and ideas, Friedman is credited with inventing the flexible straw.
  5. By the age of fourteen, Friedman conceptualized his first invention, the lighted pencil, which he deemed the “pencilite,” and was attempting to market his idea. Over the course of his inventing career, he would experiment with ideas ranging from writingimplements to engine improvements, and household products to sound and optic
  6. In the 1920s, Friedman began his education in real estateand optometry. He would use both of these careers at different points in his life to supplement his income while improving his invention concepts. Although he was working as a realtor in San Francisco, California, ]the 1930s proved to be his most prolific patenting period, with six of his nine U.S. patents being issued then.
  7. While sitting in his younger brother Albert’s fountain parlor, the Varsity Sweet Shop in San Francisco, Friedman observed his young daughter Judith at the counter, struggling to drink out of a straight straw. Sitting on the stool, the cool beverage was too high on the counter to reach. Afterwards back home, he took a paper straight straw, inserted a screw and using dental floss, he wrapped the paper into the screw threads, creating corrugations in the straw barrel. After removing the screw, the altered paper straw could now bend conveniently over the edge of the glass, allowing small children to better reach their beverages.
  8. After fine tuning his approach, U.S. patent #2,094,268 was issued for this new invention under the title Drinking Tube. Friedman would later file and be issued two additional U.S. patents and three foreign patents in the 1950s relating to its formation and construction. In his application, he wrote:

“Applicant has met a problem long existing in the art. A view of any soda fountain on a hot day, with the glasses showing innumerable limp and broken straws drooping over the edges thereof, will immediately show that this problem has long existed.  Where we have the conditions where certainly the straw is old, where corrugated tubing is old, and where no inventor, during those years, has seen fit or has been able to solve this problem, whereas applicant did, that situation alone is prima facie evidence of invention.”

–courtesy of the Joseph B. Friedman Papers, 1915 – 2000, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.

  1. Friedman attempted to sell his straw patent to several existing straw manufacturers beginning in 1937 without success, so after completing his straw machine, he began to produce the straw himself. Friedman’s younger English relative, Michael Fabricant, would later write that his great uncle’s invention was “arguably the most significant technological achievement of the twentieth century”
  2. On April 24, 1939, The Flexible Straw Corporationwas incorporated. However, World War II interrupted Friedman’s efforts to construct his straw manufacturing machine. During the war, he managed the optometry practice of Arthur Euler, O.D., in Capwells’ Department Store in Oakland, California, and continued to sell real estate and insurance to support his growing family.
  3. Friedman obtained financial backing for his flexible straw machine from two of his brothers-in-law, Harry Zavin and David Light, as well as from Bert Klein, a family associate. With their financial help, and the business advice of his sister Betty, Friedman completed the first flexible straw manufacturing machine in the late 1940s. Although his original concept had come from the observation of his daughter, the flexible straw was initially marketed to hospitals, with the first sale made in 1947.
  4. Betty Friedman played a crucial role in the development of the Flexible Straw Corporation. While still living in Cleveland and working at the Tarbonis Company, she corresponded regularly with her brother and directed all of the sales and distribution of the straw. In 1950 Friedman moved his family and company to Santa Monica, California. Now doing business as the Flex-Straw Co., sales continued to increase and the marketing direction expanded to focus more strongly on the home and child markets. Betty Friedman moved west in 1954 to assume her formal leadership role in the corporation.
  5. On June 20, 1969, the Flexible Straw Corporation sold its United States and foreign patents, United States and Canadiantrademarks, and licensing agreements to the Maryland Cup Corporation, and the Flexible Straw Corporation dissolved in August 1969.

 

 


 

Spoiler Alert: Holiday & Vacation is Over.

If you’re like most entrepreneurs and business owners, you’re right back at it tackling an overflowing inbox, scheduling production and juggling an already crammed calendar, while trying to mentally check back into the “flow” of work.  Surprising how we can all relate.  For some reason, this holiday break, as wonderful as it was, seems like a blur to me – cookies, parties, family, kids, friends, great food, more great food and still more great food and fun.  I did my best to “go dark” a bit, and try and break away from the business, but probably like you, found myself checking emails, responding to the cell phone and in my home office, just “checking things”, to be sure no “hidden opportunities” has popped out!

In fact, according to a Glance Networks study, most businesses don’t get back to normal productivity levels until about three weeks after New Year’s.  That sounds ok, but just doesn’t work for us, as we’re running 24/7 on your PIA Jobs! TM – product still coming in, and trucks still rolling out.

That said, I came across an article in Forbes magazine I thought I’d share.  The perspective was from Brian Scudamore, the founder and CEO of O2E Brands, best known for 1-800-GOT JUNK fame.  According to Brian, here are three things you can do right now to hit the ground running in 2017 – (thanks for tips! – full article HERE)

1: Paint a Picture for Long-Term Success

Over 45 percent of people make personal resolutions, but few of us make resolutions for our businesses. The new year is a perfect time to set goals for all aspects of your life. People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to achieve their goals than those who don’t, and those odds for success increase to 50 percent when you write those goals down.

I personally experienced the power of visualization when I wrote my first “Painted Picture” — a crystal-clear snapshot of the future I wanted for 1-800-GOT-JUNK?. In the early days, it was just a scrappy startup with three trucks and a lot of potential. Since achieving most of the goals in the first Painted Picture, I craft a new one every few years, and share the updated vision with our employees. It’s a powerful way to get your team fired up and working together towards a goal, not just settling into another year of the status quo.

The new year is also an opportunity for our team to look at our Can You Imagine? wall and their 101 Life Goals lists with fresh eyes. These are two ways we ask employees to dream big all year round. And when someone’s in a post-vacation slump, these tools are potent reminders about the exciting things that can happen when you intentionally set goals.

2. Snap a Leadership Selfie

How often do you take an audit of your strengths and weaknesses? A new year is a great time to reflect on what’s going well, and what could use work. Self-awareness is truly one of the greatest skills for success: not only does it make you a better, more empathetic leader, it’s also positively correlated with your company’s bottom line.  So how does a leadership selfie work? For me, it’s as simple as writing down my skills and what needs improvement. I make a list and solicit feedback, both formally and informally, with coffee meetings, chats with coworkers, and more structured surveys. And what better time to break old habits than those first few days when your work routines haven’t yet reformed?

3: Strip Away Productivity Blockers

What was holding you back or frustrating you last year? I’ve found it’s the little things that end up wasting the most time. But the good news is that identifying time-sucks is the first step to eliminating them.  For me, unproductive meetings are a big pet peeve and I’m not alone: 59 percent of people hate meetings that don’t stay on topic. So in 2017, set meetings with one direction, clear outcome goals, and only invite people who need to be there. Another simple trick is to schedule 22-minute meetings instead of half-hour ones. The idea, pioneered by Nicole Steinbok, is to make everyone hyper-conscious of start and end times.

Email is another productivity blocker. In fact, the average office worker spends 28% of their week managing their inbox. I learned long ago to tame this beast. Now, I sort every email into one of three folders (personal, end-of-day, and end-of-week) so I can power through later in one focused, productive chunk.

Ultimately, the best thing you can do for your business is start 2017 with a positive attitude that will set the tone for the rest of the year. Having fun in the workplace, (a MUST here at KHT) is the real key for being engaged, creative, and super productive.

Hope some of these ideas help – feel free to give me a call to discuss – I’m working on my list right now.