Being a first responder is a big job. In an instant, there are people counting on you to help them get emergency care that may, ultimately, save their life.
While 911 dispatchers provide an important service to the people of Texas, they were not considered first responders until recently. Earlier this year, a new law went into effect recognizing 911 dispatchers as first responders.
This is what the new law does for 911 dispatchers in Texas.
Recognized for great work
Although 911 dispatchers rarely have physical contact with people who need emergency care, they routinely provide verbal support until other emergency personnel arrives on the scene. 911 dispatchers often need to talk victims and their loved ones through difficult situations, such as:
- First aid procedures
- Basic CPR
- Medical instructions
Dispatchers must remain calm so they can collect all the essential information and relay it to emergency personnel. They must also have a variety of emergency knowledge so they can assist, no matter who calls.
No matter what area first responders specialize in, responding to emergencies as a career is stressful. Unfortunately, before 911 dispatchers joined the ranks of first responders, dispatchers did not have access to the same support as other first responders, including mental health support.
While not present for difficult emergencies, dispatchers often talk to callers at the peak of the fear and anxiety. Talking a nervous loved one through emergency care while they wait for assistance can take a significant toll on dispatchers.
The new law went into effect in September with the hope of showing 911 dispatchers they have the appreciation and support they deserve.