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NENA Applauds Bill to Reclassify Dispatchers as Part of Public Safety

PRESS RELEASE

On behalf of more than 100,000 9-1-1 professionals across the nation, NENA: The 9-1-1 Association applauds the introduction of the 911 Supporting Accurate Views of Emergency Services (911 SAVES) Act. The bill would correct the federal government’s occupational classification of 9-1-1 professionals and accurately recognize them as an essential part of the public safety community.

Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA) – a former 9-1-1 dispatcher herself – and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) today introduced this zero-cost measure that would direct the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to reclassify 9-1-1 telecommunicators and dispatchers in the federal government’s Standard Occupation Classification System.[1]

The federal government currently classifies these occupations as “administrative/clerical” in nature, which is inaccurate and a disservice to the specialized, lifesaving work 9-1-1 professionals perform every day.[2] As noted by Rep. Torres, on any given day, these individuals provide emergency medical instruction; deal with suicidal persons; analyze background noises and a caller’s voice to assess a situation; coordinate the dispatch and safe arrival of field responders; and play a critical role in responding to emergencies large and small.

NENA President Jamison Peevyhouse said, "We applaud Rep. Torres, a longtime supporter of the 9-1-1 community, and Rep. Fitzpatrick for their leadership on this issue. NENA and its members have long advocated for an accurate statistical classification for 9-1-1 professionals to support critical research into the mental and physical impacts of 9-1-1 jobs."

“We urge all members of Congress to support this non-partisan, cost-free measure that reflects the respect and support the American public has for its 9-1-1 professionals, who answer more than 240 million calls for help every year.”

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