New Jersey seeks to make 911-dispatchers qualify for “first responder” rating

Sean T. Kean

TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblyman Sean Kean’s bill designating 911 dispatchers as first responders unanimously passed the Assembly Thursday.

The bill (A3804) recognizes their work as life-saving and includes them in the first responder community with law enforcement, firefighters, and emergency medical professionals.

“They are the first, first responders that people contact during an emergency,” said Kean (R-Monmouth). “When people call for help, 911 dispatchers are their first point of contact, providing critical instructions to residents in crisis and protecting them until another emergency responder arrives at the scene. Their work is essential to providing an effective response in emergency situations. They have earned the title ‘911 first responder dispatcher.’”

An estimated 240 million calls are made to 911 in the United States each year. According to a 2019 report from the National 911 Program, New Jerseyans made more than 9 million calls to public safety call centers in one year.

A companion bill in the Senate (S1590) has been referred to the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.

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