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911 Connects

New Resources Address Staffing, Retention and Classification

Published Dec 2021

For the past few months the National 911 Program has been working with several 911 stakeholder groups to develop resources they can use to communicate the challenge of employee retention and support the hiring of new telecommunicators. Here are two ways the Program is helping address staffing issues.

Document Addresses Ways to Ease Staffing Shortages at PSAPs

In collaboration with NENA, NASNA, APCO, the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch, PowerPhone and DoD, a two-page document addressing the 911 staffing shortage was developed by the Program for use by 911 stakeholders to interact with local governments on this issue. Information was collected during a meeting held Oct. 23 to understand the topics addressed in the document, Ten Ways to Ease the Staffing Challenges at Your 911 Center. Information in the two-pager can be shared with local leaders to raise awareness about the PSAP staffing shortage and offer practical steps centers can take right now to encourage more qualified applicants. Contact the Program office at for a copy of the document.

New Telecommunicator Reclassification Toolkit  Released

The role of public safety telecommunicator—currently classified as a clerical job by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Standard Occupational Classification system and by many states—is a rewarding yet unpredictable and stressful job. Due to a lack of objective data, the BLS classification was unable to recognize 911 telecommunicators for the difficult work they do every day and how the role of the telecommunicator has grown as capabilities, technology and social expectations have evolved.

To support the case for public safety telecommunicator reclassification, the Program developed a Telecommunicator Reclassification Toolkit to help 911 agencies update their documentation, and in so doing, support the change in job classification of public safety telecommunicators from clerical to protective services at all levels of government. The four-part toolkit is intended to guide agencies in producing the objective data required to support reclassification efforts:

  • Part 1: Developing a public safety telecommunicator job description

  • Part 2: Establishing and expanding a public safety telecommunicator training program

  • Part 3: Operational integration of technology and tools in the ECC

  • Part 4: Developing a legislative strategy for reclassification

This resource addresses the steps all 911 agencies can take to support reclassification efforts. For more information visit the Telecommunicator Job Reclassification page on and watch the "State of 911" Webinar, "Public Safety Telecommunicator Reclassification Resources & Preparing ECC Leaders for the Transition to NG911.”