Letters to the Editor

Sen. Taylor's work Supported APCO-NENA

On behalf of Iowa APCO and Iowa NENA, we want to thank the 88th General Assembly of the Iowa Legislature for passing Senate File 2373. The bill made an important change to Iowa law by defining telecommunicators/911 dispatchers as public safety telecommunicators and recognizing their role as first responders. Sen. Todd Taylor worked tirelessly to ensure the bill’s passage in the Senate. He understands that emergency telecommunicators are an intricate part of the emergency response system and are typically the first public safety point of contact for citizens. Collectively, dispatchers handle over 1.1 million calls a year in Iowa.

Iowa now joins the ranks of states like Texas and California in recognizing public safety telecommunicators. Taylor understands 911 professionals are extensively trained and their responsiveness can be the difference in a life or death situation. Unfortunately the Federal government describes emergency dispatchers/telecommunicators only as administrative personnel which does not encompass the vital role telecommunicators/dispatchers play in quickly responding to emergency calls.

The Iowa Chapters of the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) and National Emergency Number Association (NENA) are individual organizations that work together for the betterment of 911, public safety, and telecommunicators across the state.

Angie Dobyns

President of Iowa APCO

Council Bluffs

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