Nampa Dispatchers ask President Trump to reclassify them as 1st responders

Posted at 10:13 PM, Nov 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-30 00:13:12-05

Inside the Nampa Police Department, 911 dispatchers work round the clock making sure police, fire, and animal control get to where they need to go. In the eyes of the federal government's Office of Management and Budget, they're just clerical workers. Rebecca Justus has been with Nampa Dispatch for almost four years. She's helped with it all from people complaining about barking dogs to telling people how to perform CPR in life or death situations.  

 "I'm grateful that I am here and my coworkers are too because not everyone can handle that over the phone," said Nampa dispatcher Rebecca Justus. 

Some feel 911 dispatchers should be classified in protective services, the same as police and firefighters. The change wouldn't give them a raise or any added benefits. Lawmakers reached out to the federal agency to make the change but they declined. 

"It was a disappointing decision but we're hoping that those at the top will recognize that dispatchers are protective. They're the first, first responders really the first ones on scene of an emergency," said Nampa 911 Manager Carmen Boeger. 

While the Office of Management and Budget declined to make the change, President Trump could weigh in. The Nampa Police Department and others took to Twitter asking the president to get involved. Using the #911ProtectsUsAll hashtag. Dispatchers hope the reclassification could lead to more benefits down the line. 

"More training, it could help with dispatcher benefits or retirement, you just never know what might come in the future," said Boeger.