The U.S. House of Representatives today approved a bill to 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.
The “911 Supporting Accurate Views of Emergency Services Act” (911 SAVES Act, H.R. 1629), sponsored by Reps. Norma Torres (D-CA) – a former 9-1-1 dispatcher herself – and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), 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.
The government currently classifies these occupations as “administrative/clerical” in nature, which is inaccurate and a disservice to the specialized, lifesaving work that 9-1-1 professionals perform every day. 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.
“On behalf of more than 100,000 9-1-1 professionals across the nation, NENA: The 9-1-1 Association thanks Reps. Torres and every member of Congress who supported this important measure,” said Brian Fontes, CEO of NENA. “Our 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."
“Now the action moves to the U.S. Senate, where we hope all members will 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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