Harford Resolution Urges Congress to Pass the “911 SAVES Act”

Harford County SealThe Harford County Council yesterday passed a resolution urging Congress to pass the bipartisan “911 Supporting Accurate Views of Emergency Services (SAVES) Act” to reclassify 9-1-1 call-takers and dispatchers from “Office and Administrative Support Occupations” to “Protective Service Occupations” in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) catalog. The resolution, introduced by Councilmember Joe Woods, also acknowledges the work of 911 Specialists in Harford County as protective service.

The current classification reflects an outdated, misinformed view of the nation’s 100,000 public safety telecommunicators. The “911 SAVES Act” is the first bill of its kind to give 9-1-1 specialists the recognition they deserve for the work they do every day to protect and save the lives of the public and first responders.

The Maryland General Assembly this year approved SB 284, 9-1-1 Specialists – Compensation and Benefits, bi-partisan legislation that calls for 9-1-1 specialists to be classified appropriately. The legislation was part of a package to update state laws, and the 9-1-1 financing system, to provide the flexibility and resources needed for the deployment of a statewide Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG911) system, a 2019 MACo Legislative Initiative.

The Commission to Advance Next Generation 9-1-1 Across Maryland, a 2018 MACo Legislative Initiative, submitted its 2018 report to the Governor and General Assembly in December of last year. The report includes recommendations for the implementation, technology, funding, governance, and ongoing statewide development of NG911.

The Commission will continue its work over the next year in order to address other issues concerning the migration to NG911.

MACo’s Summer Conference session, “New Look 9-1-1 – Everything Will Change… Except the Numbers, will discuss how Maryland is accelerating its move toward NG911, harnessing public safety industry leadership and expertise, and focusing on effective coordination with communications providers to deliver these essential services equitably across the state. The session is scheduled for Wednesday, August 14, 2019, from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm.

The MACo Summer Conference will be held August 14-17, 2019 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland. This year’s conference theme is “Winds of Change.”

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference: