I really think you should know what I’m about to share, and I bet you’ll agree with me.
The branch of the federal government that classifies job occupations (Office of Management and Budget) currently classifies the role of police, fire, and EMS dispatchers as a clerical position. There is a strong and ever-growing movement urging the OMB to reclassify these roles in the same category as crossing guards, lifeguards, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and EMS personnel.
It is important to our industry to be recognized as first responders. We are often the first responder to connect with those who call for help, and yet we are being classified like secretaries, administrative assistants, or taxi dispatchers. We go through vigorous background checks, security screenings, professional licensing, months of training, and fulfill continuing education requirements.
On the forefront of this push for recognition are the folks over at Within the Trenches, a podcast capturing the experiences of those in the emergency communications field. They have also initiated a #IAM911 following, working to share and shed light on the responsibilities of an emergency telecommunications worker, which is exactly what the OMB has said that it needs to reconsider the classification. They are also working with APCO and NENA towards this goal.
Here is a concise write-up about the #IAM911 movement:
#IAM911 – Join the Movement to Reclassify 9-1-1 Professionals
Here is information about how to take action, via APCO:
What do you think? Should 911 dispatchers be classified in the same category as administrative assistants, clerks, and secretaries?