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Emergency Dispatchers Recognized as First Responders

Emergency dispatchers will now have access to many of the same services and benefits as other first responders, due to legislation sponsored by State Senator Neil Anderson (R-Andalusia) and State Representative Dan Swanson (R-Alpha) that was signed into law late last week.

“Dispatchers have an incredibly tough, stressful, and important job, dealing with emergencies and working to get the right assistance to people who desperately need help in a timely manner,” said Sen. Anderson. “As a firefighter, I know the important and vital role dispatchers have as they assist us in our work to save lives and protect property. They are the first step in the process of responding to emergencies and should be recognized as such.”

“Emergency medical dispatchers are critical members of the response teams and this law recognizes the importance of the role they play in helping save lives during a crisis,” added Rep. Dan Swanson. “This is another example of the collaboration with Senator Anderson I appreciate in passing good legislation for our constituents and the people of Illinois.”

Senate Bill 3127 amends existing state laws to include “Emergency Medical Dispatchers” as first responders. This will allow dispatchers to be recognized as first responders, enabling them to receive many of the same services and benefits.

The new law recognizes not only the role that dispatchers play, but the fact that many of them face the same issues as other responders, including post-traumatic stress disorders and other issues.

The legislation, which was initiated by a constituent, passed the Illinois House and Senate unanimously. It was signed into law by the Governor on Friday, May 27 and goes into effect on January 1, 2023.


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