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About the National 911 Program

The National 911 Program's mission is to provide federal leadership and coordination in supporting and promoting optimal 911 services. This Federal "home" for 911 plays a critical role by coordinating federal efforts that support 911 services across the nation.

The 911 system was designed to provide a universal, easy-to-remember number for people to reach police, fire or emergency medical assistance from any phone in any location, without having to look up specific phone numbers. Today, people communicate in ways that the designers of the original 911 system could not have envisioned: wireless phones, text and video messages, social media, Internet Protocol (IP)-enabled devices, and more.


The National 911 Program works with States, technology providers, public safety officials and 911 professionals to ensure a smooth transition to an updated 911 system that takes advantage of new communications technologies. It also creates and shares a variety of resources and tools to help 911 systems.


Created by Congress in 2004 as the 911 Implementation and Coordination Office (ICO), the National 911 Program is housed within the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at the U.S. Department of Transportation and is a joint program with the National Telecommunication and Information Administration in the Department of Commerce.

In 2020, NHTSA celebrated its 50th anniversary. Learn more about the role of the Office within NHTSA by viewing this webinar.


More Information

Timeline of the DOT's role in advancing 911

National 911 Program Annual Summary 2021

50 Years of 911