On Wednesday, Sept. 18th, Russell County Judge Executive Gary D. Robertson and the Fiscal Court issued a proclamation recognizing Russell County 911 Telecommunicators as first responders.
Currently, Telecommunicators are classified as Office and Administrative Support Occupations. Recently, Texas became the first state to pass legislation recognizing 911 Telecommunicators as first responders and classify them as Protective Services, which includes police, fire, EMS, etc. The 911 Saves Act is a national bill that would reclassify 911 telecommunicators nationwide as Protective Services. Currently it has passed the House and is being considered in the Senate.
Item #7 in the local proclamation states, "The Russell County Fiscal Court recognizes that a 911 Telecommunicator is far from clerical and supports the national movement to reclassify 911 Telecommunicators as First Responders, to truly recognize the work they do. Additionally, the Russell County Fiscal Court supports the 911 Saves Act to properly classify the proffession of 911 Telecommunicators."
Full time Telecommunicators are required to complete an intensive 5-week academy through the Dept of Criminal Justice Training in Richmond, KY. The academy is considered among the best in the nation. Telecommunicators also are required to receive ongoing training each year to maintain this certification. In addition, they are certified in Telephone CPR and Criminal Justice Information System, which houses sensitive data such as Driver License, Vehicle registration, Criminal History, Wanted Persons, etc.
Russell County 911 employees 11 Telecommunicators (7 full time and 4 part time). They want to thank the Russell County Judge Executive and Fiscal Court for this recognition and will continue to strive to provide the best possible 911 service to the citizens and tourists of Russell County.
Pictured front row left to right: Kori Skaggs (911 Training officer), Gary Robertson (County Judge Executive), Gary Wheat (911 Supervisor). Back row left to right Valerie Baker (911 Telecommunicator), Nichole Simpson (911 Telecommunicator), Derek Polston (Sheriff/911 Board), H M Bottom (911 Board Chair), Penny Jones (911 Telecommunicator), Ashley Pearson (911 Telecommunicator). Not pictured are: Laura Willis, Elizabeth Skaggs, Krystal Redmon, Carrie Burton and Nicole Bradshaw.