Quijano, O’Donnell, Cryan Bill to Improve Public Safety by Bolstering Operating Procedures for 911 Dispatchers Advances

Empowers Operators to Seek Assistance Needed to Save Lives

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Annette Quijano, Jason O’Donnell and Joseph Cryan that would enable 9-1-1 operators to quickly make additional requests for ambulatory service if the first call out for aid does not receive a timely response was recently approved by the full Assembly.

“Every moment after a 9-1-1 dispatcher answers a call is valuable to saving the life of the person or persons on the other end,” said Quijano (D-Union). “Mere minutes can make the difference between life and death in an emergency situation. If the first responder does not respond, there should be a second call ready to be made for back up.”

“There’s absolutely no time to spare when responding to an emergency,” said O’Donnell (D-Hudson). “A 9-1-1 dispatcher should be given access to the resources needed in helping callers quickly and professionally. This is practical legislation that may improve emergency response times and dispatcher services throughout the state.”

“9-1-1 operators are our direct line of communication to the help we need in serious situations,” said Cryan (D-Union). “Giving them the leeway to take the necessary steps in providing efficient and rapid response is common sense. This is a small amendment to procedure that can make a life-saving impact throughout New Jersey.”

The bill (A-1098) would establish a standard operating procedure for 9-1-1 dispatchers that requires them to call for mutual aid assistance within 10 minutes if the basic life support ambulance service provider initially contacted does not respond.

Under current law, the ambulance service provider initially called to an emergency must notify the dispatcher within 10 minutes. The dispatcher must issue at least one additional call at five minutes from the initial call to ensure the call was received. The bill would enable the dispatcher to concurrently contact a mutual aid basic life support ambulance on all emergency calls when an ambulance provider fails to respond to a dispatched call.

The bill passed 77-0 in an afternoon Assembly session held on Thursday, March 21st. It will now go to the Senate for further consideration.