SPRINGFIELD – Emergency medical dispatchers will receive the same benefits and training as other first responders after a measure spearheaded by State Senator Robert Martwick was signed into law.
“Dispatchers are first responders, and they need to be included in the same programs and receive the same support as police officers and firefighters,” said Martwick (D-Chicago). “Our Dispatchers are the first line of defense in an emergency, hearing unspeakable circumstances while staying calm and helping the caller. They deserve the same training, benefits and recognition as other first responders.”
Emergency medical dispatchers are special trained call-takers who identify complaints, triage patients’ severity and provide pre-arrival instructions to callers. The new law, formerly known as Senate Bill 3127, will ensure emergency medical dispatchers are included in reference to first responders in existing laws.
As part of the measure, emergency medical dispatchers will be fully included in existing plans and initiatives such as statewide emergency response plans, crisis intervention training, school specific action plans and that they will receive similar mental health support.
“Dispatchers are the calming force helping people experiencing a crisis, and their work is equally as vital as other first responders,” Martwick said.
Senate Bill 3127 was signed into law Friday and takes effect immediately.