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AFSCME’s Saunders: The 911 SAVES Act will give emergency dispatchers the permanent recognition they’ve earned

WASHINGTON – AFSCME President Lee Saunders released the following statement recognizing National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, which is happening April 14-20, 2024:

“911 dispatchers aren’t seen, but they are heard in every crisis. They are the calm voice in the storm, supporting people in their time of need. It takes poise and composure to coordinate an emergency response when seconds can mean the difference between life and death. But they get the job done, saving countless lives every single day.”
“Currently, 911 dispatchers are designated as ‘administrative and clerical workers’ under federal law. The 911 SAVES Act, authored by former 911 dispatcher and AFSCME member Rep. Norma Torres, would right this wrong by finally classifying dispatchers as the protective service workers they are. With the proper status, 911 dispatchers could be eligible for more funding that would boost training and recruitment for call centers, which is crucial to addressing staffing shortages. For National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, we call on Congress to honor these workers with action and pass the 911 SAVES Act.”

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