AFSCME’s Saunders: 911 dispatchers deserve more than recognition for their service; they deserve action

MONDAY, APRIL 10, 2023
Contact: Nick Voutsinos
WASHINGTON – AFSCME President Lee Saunders released the following statement recognizing National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, which is happening April 9-15, 2023:
“This week, we celebrate the essential workers who are the first to answer our call in times of crisis. When we dial 911, we count on the person on the other end of the phone to get us the help we need. Their quick response under duress saves lives and keeps our communities safe and healthy. They are true heroes, and they deserve more than recognition for their service. They deserve support and sufficient staffing to ensure they’re able to do their jobs best.
“An estimated 240 million calls are made to 911 centers each year, but in many places across the country, there aren’t enough workers to ensure that the phone is being answered quickly. Chronic short staffing places an unbearable burden on workers who then face exhaustion and burnout. With the right backup and support, these courageous heroes can make an even greater difference within the communities that depend on them.
“That’s why AFSCME members are mobilizing to recruit and train new workers to take on vital roles protecting our communities. This National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, let's commit to staff the front lines.”