If a Cecil County resident needed to call for emergency help back in the 1950s they had better have a telephone book handy or have taped the number to the phone. The process of reaching the correct call-taker during a fire or medical incident to request assistance was complicated. People had eleven different potential strings of numbers that might have to be dialed, depending on which of the county’s volunteer fire companies was responsible for the area.
Cecilton published three different numbers, depending on the time of day in 1951. At 8 p.m. another set was designated and if it happened that no one answered the directory said you could dial the operator.
It just wasn’t as easy as dialing those three easy to remember digits and having calls answered by professional public safety communications officers standing ready, around the clock, to efficiently aid callers in an emergency, while promptly getting aid to residents.