muhl 911MUHLENBERG COUNTY, Ky. (8/10/19) — Muhlenberg County Fiscal Court adopted a resolution this week to recognize Muhlenberg 911 Dispatchers as first responders rather than the federal designation as clerical staff.

The resolution was read by Judge-Executive Curtis McGehee and passed unanimously by the four county magistrates present.

McGehee prefaced the reading by recognizing 911 Director Kristi Jenkins and many of her staff during the regular Fiscal Court meeting Thursday.

“We recognize that dispatchers are often subjected to high risk, being subjected to critical incidents and I know that your work is not easy,” said McGehee. “So certainly on behalf of this court and on behalf of this community, I want to express my highest level of my appreciation to you for your service.”

The resolution to recognize local dispatchers as emergency responders is something Jenkins and staff hope would become a state and national movement.

A portion of the resolution read:

“Whereas, the county recognizes our telecommunicators perform their duty with no formal protections or offers of individual immunity, and that in the course of their good faith efforts, their public safety response that communities rely on is not recognized by the federal government as a protected classification. Despite all the requirements they must meet to work in this position, the federal Office of Management and Budget classifies this group of individuals as clerical staff, but we dissent; and, whereas Muhlenberg County Fiscal Court recognizes Public Safety Telecommunicators are far from just clerical and supports the national movement to re-classify telecommunicators as first responders and truly recognize the work they do. Additionally, the county of Muhlenberg supports the 911 Saves Act to properly classify the profession of 911 Telecommunicators,” McGehee read from the proclamation.

Rita Dukes Smith
SurfKY News Director
Region 3 Vice President

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