BREAKING NEWS — Texas became the first state in America to recognize emergency services dispatchers as first responders, when Governor Greg Abbott signed HB1090 into law this week. The new law takes effect on Sept. 1, 2019. Read more about how officials are hoping other states follow suit below.
“On Monday June 10, 2019, Governor Greg Abbott of Texas signed House Bill 1090 into law. The bill, introduced by Texas House of Representative Cecil Bell, amends Texas’ Government Code by including “an emergency response operator or emergency services dispatcher who provides communication support services for an agency by responding to requests for assistance in emergencies’ into the state’s definition of a ‘first responder’.
By signing the bill into law, this demonstrates that Texas recognizes that 9-1-1 emergency dispatchers provide critical and life-saving services for the public. As such, they may encounter stressful and potentially traumatic events and experiences in the course of exercising their duties.
The new law goes into effect on September 1st. The Texas legislation mirrors similar efforts at the national level to change the perception of the contributions of telecommunicators to public safety and the communities they serve.
With the implementation of the Texas law, it is hoped that more states follow suit. Thus providing more weight to efforts at the federal level for reclassification of 9-1-1 emergency dispatchers to the protective services class.”