Alexandria, VA –Today, Congresswoman Norma Torres (CA) and Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA), along with several of their colleagues, reintroduced the Supporting Accurate Views of Emergency Services Act of 2023, or the “9-1-1 SAVES Act.” If enacted, this bipartisan legislation would require the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to categorize public safety telecommunicators as Protective Service Occupations in the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC).
The SOC is maintained solely for statistical purposes. Public safety telecommunicators are currently classified as administrative/clerical in nature, which is outdated and inaccurate. Reclassification is about appropriately recognizing the critical, “protective” work public safety telecommunicators do every day. Additionally, including public safety telecommunicators in the Protective Service group would make the SOC a more accurate and therefore more useful statistical resource. The 9-1-1 SAVES Act is a legislative fix that has broad support from the 9-1-1 community and others familiar with their lifesaving work.
The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International first attempted to correct the classification in 2014, petitioning OMB, the agency responsible for the SOC. APCO described the protective work performed by public safety telecommunicators and how it has evolved since the SOC was created. OMB offered several justifications for maintaining the status quo, and despite APCO’s comprehensive rebuttals, OMB declined to fix the classification. APCO has collaborated with Representatives Torres and Fitzpatrick since 2019 to seek a legislative solution.
“The work performed by public safety telecommunicators is 100% ‘protective,’” APCO CEO Derek K. Poarch said. “This is a common-sense, zero-cost change that can and should immediately be made to recognize the lifesaving nature of 9-1-1 professionals’ work. APCO thanks Reps. Torres and Fitzpatrick for their continued leadership on this issue, and we’re ready to do whatever we can to fix this once and for all.”
APCO International® (www.apcointl.org)
APCO International is the world’s oldest and largest organization of public safety communications professionals and supports the largest U.S. membership base of any public safety association. It serves the needs of public safety communications practitioners worldwide – and the welfare of the general public as a whole – by providing complete expertise, professional development, technical assistance, advocacy and outreach.