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California Dispatchers Become First Responders Under New Law

 Assembly member Rudy Salas’ AB 1945, which recognizes the heroic work of public safety dispatchers by reclassifying them as first responders, was recently signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom after passing the Legislature with unanimous bipartisan support. 

“This is a historic day for the thousands of emergency dispatchers who call California home,” Salas says. “For years, dispatchers have been misclassified under titles that do not reflect the importance of the life-saving work they perform every day. As wildfires ravage our state, the work of dispatchers coordinating emergency responses has never been more critical. I want to thank the Governor for signing this important bill, and I hope that other states will join the movement to properly reclassify their dispatchers. Our country depends on the incredible work of our emergency dispatchers who are the first to respond during a crisis and the last voice we hear on the phone. 

California dispatchers answer approximately 27 million 911 calls per year. Public safety dispatchers play a vital role in the state’s emergency response chain which extends far beyond dispatching calls for peace officers and firefighters. Dispatchers are often responsible for being the first to respond during life-threatening accidents, wildfires, active shooter situations, and potential suicides. 

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Tags: Health, Safety

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