W.Va. county 911 dispatchers recognized as first responders
Prior to the Tuesday resolution, dispatchers were designated as clerical staff
By EMS1 Staff
FAIRMONT, W.Va. — A West Virginia county passed a resolution recognizing 911 dispatchers as first responders.
The resolution was signed by the Marion County Commission on Tuesday, according to the WDTV. The text of the resolution states that dispatchers make the same sacrifices as other first responders, such as firefighters, EMS providers and police.
“911 dispatchers do so much for the public and they keep the first responders safe,” said Chris McIntire, director of Marion County 911 Center and Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. “They’re true first responders who take these calls. It’s a very stressful job. We’re very glad to have them recognized as first responders.”
The dispatchers were previously designated as clerical staff, along with other county telecommunications workers.
The Marion County 911 center was combined with the county’s Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management in 2013, according to the center’s website. It currently has 31 employees, 29 of which are full-time employees.
The center dispatches to more than 35 fire, EMS, law enforcement and other public safety agencies, and the website refers to employees as “the people behind the scenes…. The FIRST ‘First Responders.”
During the public speaking portion of Tuesday’s commission meeting, a resident praised the 911 center and sheriff’s department for helping her through a medical issue in the middle of the night.