Action Center

Help NENA Advocate for 9-1-1 Reclassification!
Act NOW to support 9-1-1 reclassification!  

Legislation to reclassify 9-1-1 call takers and dispatchers as members of the public safety community is now under consideration in both the U.S. House and Senate. 

Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), John Thune (R-SD), Ted Budd (R-NC), and Angus King (I-ME) have introduced the Senate version of the bill, the Enhancing First Response Act (S. 3556). This legislation would reclassify Public Safety Telecommunicators as a "Protective Service Occupation" in the federal government's Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system. 

The House version (911 SAVES Act, H.R. 6319), offered by Reps. Norma Torres (D-CA) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), was reported out of committee but was amended to require the government to "consider" reclassification but not to "require" it. Thus, NENA is focused on advancing the Senate version, where the original language remains.     

The SOC currently categorizes 9-1-1 professionals as “Office and Administrative Support Occupations,” along with office clerks and taxicab dispatchers. This is based on an outdated, misinformed view of the work that we do. On any given day, 9-1-1 specialists may initiate life-saving protocols and provide emergency medical instructions; deal with suicidal persons; coordinate the dispatch and safe arrival of police, fire, and EMS personnel; and play critical roles in a variety of emergencies, from traffic accidents to large-scale disasters. They receive extensive, specialized training and use complex systems unlike anything used in most administrative and clerical positions. 

This legislation would cost nothing to implement but would give 9-1-1 professionals the respect they deserve, as well as greater equity in benefits such as mental health support and the ability to apply for government grants. Reclassification also would also aid research into the mental and physical impacts of 9-1-1 jobs. 

The bill has broad support from the 9-1-1 community and others familiar with the lifesaving work of Public Safety Telecommunicators. 

Please join us in speaking up for the Senate bill! Use this page to send a message to your elected officials -- then ask your colleagues, friends, and family to do the same!


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