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Telecommunicator Job Reclassification

The duties of public safety telecommunicators have changed significantly since the first 911 call in 1968, and the role will continue to evolve as Next Generation 911 (NG911) is fully integrated across the nation.

Together with the 911 community, the National 911 Program continues efforts to update national classification of the 911 Telecommunicator from that of “Office and Administrative Support” to a “Protective Service Occupation.” This reclassification would recognize the work telecommunicators do every day to protect and save the lives of both first responders and the public. Reclassification can happen a number of ways: through the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS); through legislation at the state level; and through legislation at the federal (national) level.

The four-part Public Safety Telecommunicator Reclassification toolkit is designed to help Emergency Communications Centers (ECCs) address the changes the BLS needs to see to reclassify telecommunicators:

PART 1: Developing a Public Safety Telecommunicator Job Description

In this section you’ll learn how to:

  • Review your job duties and tasks

  • Align job descriptions with current ECC operations

  • Develop a process to keep job descriptions current and updated

  • Engage your hiring authority

  • Conduct a pay scale and benefit comparison

  • Adapt testing procedures to support needed job skills

Download this chapter

PART 2: Establishing or Expanding a Public Safety Telecommunicator Training Program

In this section you’ll learn how to:

  • Engage training subject-matter experts

  • Conduct a self-assessment for your ECC and identify any fiscal impacts

  • Identify learning objectives and certifications telecommunicators must obtain

  • Implement evaluation methods

  • Review training programs and make changes as needed

Download this chapter

PART 3: The Operational Integration of Technology and Tools

In this section you’ll learn how to:

  • Get to know specific requirements, including federal and state laws, regulations and standards

  • Meet with public safety stakeholders such as law enforcement, fire, EMS and emergency management to understand their needs

  • Engage your operational subject-matter experts to identify gaps in policies and procedures and align written directives with ECC operations

  • Review neighboring jurisdictions’ written directives

  • Review written directives regularly and develop a process to keep them updated

Download this chapter

PART 4: Developing an Advocacy Strategy for Proper Classification

In this section you’ll learn how to:

  • Understand your goals and communications plan

  • Involve working groups from 911 stakeholders in your state

  • Help local decision-makers understand 911

  • Create a media plan and showcase positive 911 stories

  • Learn the legislative process and research other states’ bills

Download this chapter

For Your ECC’s Stakeholders: City managers, leaders in public safety and other officials don’t always understand the role telecommunicators play in keeping communities safe. Download and share “The Critical Role of Today’s Public Safety Telecommunicators” to raise awareness and encourage your stakeholders to support reclassification efforts.

Download the toolkit

The National 911 Program collects and makes available a variety of 911 resources on Documents & Tools that are shared by the 911 community and vetted by a panel of 911 experts. Consider sharing your examples of job descriptions, training materials, SOPs, or state legislative strategies by completing the online submission form to have them considered for inclusion as part of this resource.

Last Updated: 03/08/2023