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WASHINGTON, April 13, 2021—Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica

Rosenworcel today in a letter offered to work with the Office of Management and Budget

(OMB) and use the next available opportunity to review the current employment classification

of 911 professionals in the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system. The SOC is a

federal statistical standard, maintained by OMB, used by federal agencies to classify workers

into occupational categories for the purpose of collecting, calculating, or disseminating data.

Historically, 911 professionals have been classified as an “Office and Administrative Support

Occupation.” However, reflective of the technological evolution of their responsibilities and

work, Rosenworcel suggests OMB explore an update to 911 professionals’ classification to

group them with others who work in emergency response in the category.

“911 operators are among our most essential first responders. Before a whistle at a fire station

blows, an ambulance races, or an air horn blares, it is a 911 professional who takes in a call and

sets emergency response in motion,” writes Chairwoman Rosenworcel. “Of course, today’s

911 professionals do far more than answer 911 calls or passively receive information. They

provide assistance, guidance, and life-saving advice to 911 callers, particularly in the critical

minutes before emergency personnel arrive at the scene. They also actively plan, coordinate,

and direct the response activities of emergency personnel, especially when multiple agencies

are involved.”

Rosenworcel’s letter specifically draws attention to the changing role of public safety

telecommunicators as 911 communications technology evolves. As a result of this shift, the

job of the public safety telecommunicator now encompasses not only call-taking and dispatch

but also the integration and analysis of multiple sources of information to determine the

appropriate response to any given emergency. For instance, those who answer calls also are

responsible for the intake and assessment of other information sources, including photos,

videos from police and traffic cameras, and automated alarm and sensor data.


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