Gov. Hochul will sign a bill today significantly broadening the definition of state-recognized first responders.
The new law will officially define public-safety dispatchers, emergency responders, emergency operators, emergency complaint operators, and emergency services dispatchers as first responders under state statute.
“Granting these frontline heroes the designation of First Responders in Communications will demonstrate New York State’s respect for these workers while serving to boost morale, open training opportunities, and increase access to mental health treatment options, all of which have been proven effective in reducing attrition and turnover,” according to the bill’s justification.
The designation will allow these workers to be eligible for additional training and other perks to make them more effective at their current work.
The bill passed with unanimous support in both chambers of the state legislature. Hochul was to sign the bill this afternoon during a ceremony at the Javits Center in Manhattan.
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“I am proud to have worked on this legislation that will finally give emergency operators and dispatchers the title and benefits they have long deserved,” said Brooklyn Assemblyman Peter J. Abbate Jr., who co-sponsored the bill.