Thirty-six states enacted 88 bills regarding 911 in 2022, excluding appropriation bills, to support and improve the operation of public emergency communications services. New laws mainly concern reclassifying 911 telecommunicators, NG911 and training telecommunicators in telephone cardiopulmonary resuscitation, known as T-CPR.
Seven states—Alabama, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and Washington—enacted legislation to classify 911 telecommunicators as first responders. While Maryland previously classified 911 specialists as key members of the team of public safety personnel, they were not officially classified as first responders. Reclassifying 911 telecommunicators as first responders or a related title is viewed as an easy method to better reflect the central role they play in public safety and homeland security. Additionally, reclassification may help in recruiting and retaining staff due to more accurate expectations of the role and increased benefits that may emerge under a new classification. See NCSL’s Brief on state and federal efforts to elevate the 911 workforce to learn more.
Five states—Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, West Virginia and Wyoming—passed legislation to establish or advance NG911 statewide. NG911 is an internet protocol (IP)-based system that allows users to send digital information such as photos, text messages or videos, in addition to phone calls, to Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP) and reroute calls among PSAPs.
Three states—Florida, Georgia and Indiana—enacted training requirements for 911 telecommunicators to learn T-CPR, allowing them to deliver CPR instructions to callers. T-CPR is an effort to encourage the use of CPR before emergency medical services arrive, which can give someone experiencing cardiac arrest a two-to three-fold higher likelihood of survival. Similarly, Kentucky required statewide emergency medical authorities to establish training requirements for 911 dispatchers regarding the assessment and treatment of heart attack patients or callers.