December 10, 2021
National 911 Program Releases Public Safety Telecommunicator Reclassification Toolkit
The public safety telecommunicator is a critical link in public safety response. Telecommunicators are the first to respond to people who need emergency assistance; on every call, they use tools, technology and their training to navigate stressful situations. The expectations of this position have grown over the years as capabilities, technologies and social expectations have evolved. Today's emergency communications centers (ECCs) require public safety telecommunicators to have the knowledge, skills and abilities to both process and analyze 911 calls, operate in a dynamic environment and keep responders and citizens apprised as a crisis evolves.
Public safety telecommunicators currently are defined as "Office and Administrative Support occupations" by federal, state and local classification systems. Due to a lack of objective evidence documenting the current, complete duties of telecommunicators, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Standard Occupational Classification System has been unable to reclassify the position. The current classification, which generally covers workers who perform clerical duties, falls far short of providing public safety telecommunicators the recognition they deserve for the work they do.
With this in mind, the National 911 Program has developed a four-part toolkit that provides actionable steps to help ECCs and the public safety community ensure that documentation adequately reflects the current and evolving expectations for public safety telecommunicators. Use of these resources will support data-driven decisions of federal, state, and local agencies and policymakers by guiding ECCs and other stakeholders in:
As ECCs nationwide transition to Next Generation 911 technology, updated programs and documentation supporting public safety telecommunicators will help cultivate the next generation of 911 professionals. To learn how to use the toolkit and take action to reclassify public safety telecommunicators visit the Telecommunicator Job Reclassification page on 911.gov.