Press Release for Kansas Public Safety Telecommunicators as First Responders #2

Good morning Kansas APCO membership! I have been given our next press release to share with you all from the Kansas APCO and NENA board members.

The last year has come with challenges, fear, and frustration for all, and 911 Public Safety Telecommunicators are no exception. While the job itself is stressful, COVID has forced many Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) to work shorthanded, change call-taking protocol, and 911 saw an influx of calls which challenged capacity.

 

Nevertheless, after many years of hard work, and a tumultuous year of uphill battles, the Kansas Chapters of APCO and NENA believe there is reason to celebrate.

 

HB2435 was introduced last week which spoke to the inclusion of Public Safety Telecommunicators alongside other heroes in public safety like Law Enforcement, Firefighters, and Emergency Medical Technicians/Paramedics. Concurrently SB40, which included many modifications to the Emergency Management Act, passed both the House and the Senate meanwhile awaiting the Governor’s signature. SB40 would amend the definition of “emergency responder” in the Kansas Intrastate Emergency Mutual Aid Act to include 911 call center public safety telecommunicators. It is anticipated the Governor will sign this bill making it law on or before March 31, 2021.

 

What this means for you: 911, emergency dispatchers, public safety telecommunicators, call takers, and the like, are finally receiving the dignity and respect it justly deserves.

 

What happens next: KS APCO and KS NENA will continue to advocate for our occupation focusing on COVID benefits, PTSD inclusion, equitable benefits, and quality in-person training.

 

While Kansas law does not allow for classification that would impact FLSA, the federal reclassification effort commonly referred to as the 911 Saves Act is still alive. We encourage you to throw your support behind this initiative in hopes the Office of Management and Budget will do the right thing by modifying the Standard Occupational Classification System to include 911 professionals as a protected service occupation.

 

What we need from you? Keep doing what you’re doing! Continue being superstars in your profession, tell your stories and bring awareness to your dedication and hard work!

 

Much Respect,

KS APCO and KS NENA

Press Release for Kansas Public Safety Telecommunicators as First Responders

The Kansas Chapters of APCO and NENA are incredibly excited to release the following statement outlining our efforts to obtain Emergency/First Responder designation in the State of Kansas for our members.
“By designating our Kansas Public Safety Telecommunicators as First Responders, Kansas would be sending a powerful message nationwide that it supports our 911 professionals by recognizing the life-saving work that each of them performs every day.”
Members- We welcome you to share this press release on your social media. I have attached the PDF version and jpeg pictures for your use. You can also find them on our website at https://ksapco.org/legislation/
Kansas Chapter Apco
APCO International
NENA – National Emergency Number Association

911 SAVES Act

APCO International, KS 911 Coordinating Council, and many other 911 Professionals are working hard to help in the momentum in this new 911 SAVES Act that Congresswoman Torres has stepped up to fight for our reclassification. The bill is known as the 911 SAVES Act, or the 911 Securing Accurate Views of Emergency Services Act of 2019.

APCO International has shared with us a link to give you in support of this. If you go to https://www.apcointl.org/government-relations/take-action/
It’s written so that anyone can send a message to his/her U.S. Representative.  It’s quick, easy, and effective.  (When there is a companion bill in the Senate, which we expect soon, we will be back in touch with a next call to action directed at U.S. Senators.) You can also add your personal message to the form.

We hope that you participate in this movement to improve our professional recognition. Thank you for taking the time to support this bill.

Have you ever needed to track a cell phone to save a life?

As a 911 Dispatcher have you ever had the frustrating problem of trying to get an accurate exact location on someone missing but all you get is a radius area?? We have just the class for you at our Spring Conference!!

The Washington County Undersheriff has figured out a great way to use specific questions with the cell phone company and plug into another program for a more accurate location that you can do yourself in the Dispatch Center.

We all want the best outcome for missing people and he is willing to share his knowledge in a class at our conference on Tuesday April 2nd.

To register please go to http://www.ksapco.org for more information. We have many other great classes lined up and we want to share all that we can.