Monday, November 15, 2021

They ARE First Responders: Let's Call Them That!

When a call for help comes in to 9-1-1, the dispatcher becomes the lifeline between those in distress and the first responders who will answer the call.

A Senate panel approved Sen. Anthony M. Bucco’s bipartisan legislation designating emergency dispatchers as 9-1-1 first responder dispatchers. (Flickr)

Bipartisan legislation (S-1590) sponsored by New Jersey State Senator Anthony M. Bucco and approved by the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee would reclassify those critical professionals as 9-1-1 first responder dispatchers.

“The bill recognizes the potentially life-saving contributions of dispatchers, and the responsibilities they bear when lives are in danger and every moment counts,” said Bucco (R-25). “These hard-working, highly trained individuals dedicate their lives to helping others, but their heroics are unseen and seldom acknowledged. Appropriately, this bill salutes them for their vital roles in the first responder community.”

Like firefighters, EMT’s and police officers, dispatchers work the long hours, nights, weekends, and holidays. Without the accolades earned by more visible responders, they can still influence outcomes and save lives.

“The integral information collected and disbursed by dispatchers and their split-second actions form the foundation for an effective emergency response,” said Bucco, a 40-year member and former captain with the Boonton Volunteer Fire Department. “The ‘first responder dispatcher’ designation is well deserved.”

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