Posted in NGA911 on Apr 11, 2023
As the first point of contact in emergencies, 9-1-1 call takers ensure that critical information is relayed promptly, allowing first responders to act quickly and save lives. On a state-by-state basis 9-1-1 call takers are being reclassified as first responders. However, not the federal level at this time.
This would come with significant advantages: access to better retirement plan options and financial stability. However, the importance of this recognition goes beyond access to retirement plans, offering more positive stability for the future of call takers.
In this blog post, our team at NGA will help celebrate National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week by discuss the benefits of the reclassification of 911 call takers to first responders.
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People Also Ask:
What classification is a 911 operator?
9-1-1 call takers are not perceived as first responders at the federal level and in most cases not at the state level either. Despite their vital role in emergency situations, they were classified in the same category as office clerks and administrative assistants.
What are the duties of a 911 call taker?
9-1-1 call takers receive, screen, and handle a high influx of emergency calls from the general public. These public safety industry professionals take action to provide the appropriate resources to individuals requesting EMS, fire, and law enforcement assistance when in need. In addition they provide much needed details to the on-site first responders.
The 9-1-1 call taker determines the priority of each call, dispatches emergency units and responders depending on the type of emergency.
Do 9-1-1 call takers qualify as first responders? Unfortunately in most cases the answer was no.
However, if bipartisan federal and state laws recognize 9-1-1 call takers and dispatchers as first responders, these public safety professionals could have access to better benefits, pay, and respect.
By being officially recognized as first responders, their crucial role in emergency response can be given the respect and honor it deserves.
9-1-1 call takers may have been stuck on a retirement plan that didn't offer them the same benefits as their colleagues in the field. This reclassification would changet that once and for all.
The nature of the work performed by 9-1-1 call takers is undoubtedly challenging, and it takes a lot of grit and heart to thrive in these roles. However, despite their invaluable contribution to public safety, the available career benefits and retirement options for 9-1-1 call takers needs to be improved.
The reclassification of 9-1-1 call takers to first responders would mean that there is real potential to address these concerns and empower public safety telecommunicators to achieve professional growth, job satisfaction, and financial security.
9-1-1 call takers face many challenges on the job, including the emotional toll it can have on their well-being. They can be recognized for their hard work and efforts by reclassifying them as first responders. This recognition can lead to a more positive outlook and better stability for their futures.
The classification would provide a sense of pride in their work and offer them more opportunities to grow and improve within their roles. It can also lead to higher pay and improved benefits, which can help retain call takers in a field where turnover and burnout can be high.
The reclassification of 9-1-1 call takers as first responders benefits the public safety industry by recognizing their critical role. They are often the first point of contact for callers in distress and provide a great deal of support to both the public and other first responders.
By recognizing their work as first responders, they can gain more support and resources to improve their service. This increased support would lead to better training, better tools, and more recognition for their role.
Reclassifying 9-1-1 call takers as first responders would also help to create a more unified team within the public safety industry. Bringing all first responders under the same classification could help make a more cohesive team and improve overall communication and coordination between entities.
A more unified team can lead to better response times and increased safety for everyone involved.
Reclassifying 9-1-1 telecommunicators as first responders sets a precedent for recognizing other critical roles in public safety. Many positions within the industry may not have the proper classification or recognition, which changes the narrative.
The reclassification provides a way to showcase the vital roles played by all members of the public safety industry, including dispatchers, call takers, and others who are often unrecognized. Recognizing the critical nature of these roles and the individuals who fill them can help set a standard for better recognition, pay, and benefits for all in the industry.
Reclassifying 9-1-1 call takers as first responders is a crucial change that can benefit the public safety industry and those in these roles. It can offer better retirement plan options and provide more positive stability for their futures.
By recognizing these workers as first responders, it highlights the critical role they play in the industry and creates a more unified team. It also sets a precedent for recognizing other vital roles within the industry. It provides a way to showcase the hard work and dedication of all individuals in the industry, creating a better future for all.
How can you help?
Please ask both of your U.S Senators as well as your U.S Representative to support the 9-1-1 SAVES ACT! https://www.congress.gov/members/find-your-member
Would you like to discover more?