Texas Classifies Dispatchers as First Responders
The new public safety dispatcher classification will also add 911 dispatchers to some existing Texas statutes.
By Dakin Andone
They may not be on the front lines, but emergency dispatchers still grapple with the emotional impacts of dealing with crises.
That's one reason why Texas will soon classify 911 dispatchers and other public safety telecommunications professionals as first responders, thanks to a new law signed by Gov. Greg Abbott this week.
The change will not only give dispatchers a degree of recognition alongside police, fire and emergency medical services, but will also let them access benefits to help support their mental health, according to Amarillo Fire Department Capt. Jeremy Hill, who manages the Amarillo Emergency Communications Center.