Reclassifying emergency dispatchers from their current clerical designation to the Protective Services category of law enforcement, firefighting, and lifesaving (paramedics) takes the tenacity inherent in the profession. And a willingness to draft proclamations. As part of our reclassification article in the May/June Journal, we are providing two proclamations that are helping to move the campaign forward.
Pitkin County Proclamation, Board of County Commissioners B
WHEREAS, Pitkin County is elevating the status of its 911 Emergency Dispatchers to First Responders in a move that outpaces a similar effort on the national level; and
WHEREAS, Pitkin County could not wait for the 911 Saves Act that is stalled in Congress to give our dispatchers the classification of first responders that they have earned and deserve; and
WHEREAS, all Pitkin County 911 Emergency Dispatchers are trained in emergency medical dispatch qualifying them to offer a variety of potentially lifesaving instructions including CPR, bleeding control, choking, childbirth and airway maintenance over the telephone until paramedics arrive on the scene; and
WHEREAS, in the first six months of 2019 alone, Pitkin County 911 Emergency Dispatchers gave medical guidance to over 200 callers. Six Pitkin County 911 Emergency Dispatchers were recognized for their roles in saving the lives of three people who suffered cardiac arrest and a mother in labor, who was coached over the telephone, gave birth to a healthy baby; and
WHEREAS, the Pitkin County Public Safety Council, made up of 18 public safety and public safety support agencies in the Roaring Fork Valley unanimously resolved to support the 911 Saves Act and all the agencies who work with the Pitkin County 911 Emergency Dispatch Center already consider them “the first, first responders” as their information and instructions are critical to keeping our citizens and our field units safe.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT PROCLAIMED, that from this day forward Pitkin County 911 Emergency Dispatchers are hereby elevated to the status of First Responders.
Dated this 10th Day of October, 2019
County Manager Pitkin County Board of County Commissioners
Mineral County Resolution
911 Public Safety Telecommunicators serve 24 hours a day, seven days a week, just the same as firefighters, law enforcement officers, and emergency medical services workers; and
911 Public Safety Telecommunicators make the same sacrifices in their personal lives as firefighters, law enforcement officers, and emergency medical services workers by leaving their families, friends, and the safety of their homes to handle the emergency 911 calls that save the lives, protect the property, and ensure the safety of our community during emergency events; and
911 Public Safety Telecommunicators heroically answer 911 emergency calls around-the-clock whereby they give medical guidance, instruct callers on staying safe in difficult situations, and help callers to safety during disasters, all while promptly dispatching field units to said emergency situations for the callers; and
911 Public Safety Telecommunicators must handle the stress of answering over twenty thousand calls each year- one call after another, daily- often being the voice on the other end of the call as citizens experience the worst day of their lives. They hear the cries of devastation, listen to the screams for help, and are the support as citizens cope with the loss of a loved on. Public Safety Telecommunicators handle all of this and at the very same time they keep their fellow emergency responders in the field safe; and
to honor the women and men who serve in this crucial position, we recognize these individuals throughout Mineral County by proclaiming to consider them true “First Responders.”
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Mineral County Commission
hereby proclaims that this Resolution goes into effect immediately upon adoption.
I, Lauren T. P. Ellifritz, Clerk, do hereby certify that the above is a true copy of a resolution adopted the 5th day of November, 2019, at a meeting of the Mineral County Commission. I further certify that a quorum of the Commission was present and a majority of its members voted affirmatively for this resolution.