911 telecommunicators and dispatchers act as the first line of response during an emergency crisis. Their work is considered to be more than clerical work as they undergo massive stress and are trained to dispatch incident response to help callers even when the communication is limited. Many states have recently taken the initiative to designate dispatchers as 911 first responders which allows them to access various benefits, training, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)/mental health resources. To investigate further, this work has investigated the number of states that have passed a bill to change the status of 911 dispatchers/telecommunicators as first responders, we conducted a study that documents a list of all 50 States and their 911 first responder status. We used online platforms and sent emails to 911 boards, 911 coordinating councils, etc., to collect relevant information. This study provided insights into how many states and regions have undergone this reclassification.
Author: Svati Sundara Murthy