If you dialed 9-1-1 Aug. 31, the person who handled your call was a clerical worker. If you dialed Sept. 1 and talked to the same person, you spoke to a first responder.
“Texas has always paved the way for the 9-1-1 industry. It was the first and is still the only state to license telecommunicators, which led to higher industry standards, and now will be the first and only state to recognize these life-saving professionals for what they are: the true first responders,” the North Central Texas Emergency Communications District said in a news release.
What made that change was House Bill 1090, which went into effect Sept. 1.
The Emergency Communications District is holding a 9-1-1 First Responder Commencement Ceremony Sept. 5 at 2:15 p.m. to mark that change for the more than 500 North Texas 9-1-1 telecommunicators who previously were classified as secretaries.
“From citizens requesting emergency services, to field units needing manpower or deployment resources during disasters, 9-1-1 Telecommunicators are true first responders,” said NCT9-1-1 Operations Manager Sherry Decker. “HB 1090 acknowledges the important role they play.”
The House Bill reclassifies the state’s 9-1-1 telecommunicators as first responders alongside peace officers, firefighters and emergency medical personnel.
Texas is also the only state that requires telecommunicators to be licensed, which holds them to the same standards as peace officers and jailers, the news release said.
The 9-1-1 First Responder Commencement Ceremony will honor the telecommunicators and the 43 Public Safety Answer Points (PSAPs) they represent in 13 counties surrounding the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. NCT 9-1-1 serves a population of 1.7 million and 10,000+ square miles.
9-1-1 First Responder Commencement Ceremony
600 Six Flags Drive, Suite 226, Arlington, TX 76011
Sept.5 at 2:15 P.M.
Learn more: www.nct911.org/texas-911-first-responder-commencement-ceremony
– FWBP Staff