Bill in Congress could classify 911 dispatchers as first responders

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ANDERSON Co., SC (WSPA) –  Many 911 dispatchers across the Upstate are being celebrated this week for National Telecommunicators Week.

According to the federal government, those dispatchers are classified as clerical workers, not first responders.

The 911 SAVES Act is currently a bill in Congress that is pushing to change that status. It’s a change many local dispatchers believe is needed with the changing technology and need to be skilled for any situation.

“The end of last year, I had three who delivered babies providing prearrival instructions and beginning of this year, we had three recognized for providing CPR, ” said Rebecca Carter who is the Anderson Co. Dispatch Communications Director.

If the bill passes, dispatchers could see higher pay, more grant options for training and the recognition of being on an equal level with the first responders they dispatch.

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