Recognizing the integral role of 9-1-1 dispatchers in emergency response, legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats John Armato and Carol Murphy to designate 9-1-1 operators as first responders was signed into law on Tuesday.
Every day in over 6,000 public safety call centers in the United States, 9-1-1 dispatchers gather information from callers in crisis, which is later used to guide the response of law enforcement, fire departments and emergency medical services providers.
The goal of this law (formerly bill A-3804) is for 9-1-1 operators to have a title that better reflects the services they provide.
Assemblyman Armato (D-Atlantic) and Assemblywoman Murphy (D-Burlington) released the following joint statement on the bill:
“Though 9-1-1 dispatchers are literally the first to respond to someone who needs help, they are not classified as first responders in the same way as police officers, firefighters and EMS professionals.
“9-1-1 dispatchers are first responders, plain and simple. It’s time they are recognized for their essential role in the emergency response community and for their noble work in diffusing crisis situations.”