BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — California emergency dispatchers on Thursday honored Assemblyman Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) as “Legislator of the Year” for authoring a bill reclassifying dispatchers as first responders.
The award was announced at a conference for the California Chapter of the National Emergency Number Association.
“CALNENA is pleased to present Assemblymember Salas with our 2020 Legislator of the Year award for outstanding service to the 911 community and profession,” the association’s president, Don Jones, said in a news release. “Appropriate recognition of first responder status is a significant morale boost to 911 dispatchers who continue to battle the overwhelming stress of assisting Californians through the COVID pandemic, massive fires, shootings, personal medical emergencies, and so much more.”
The bill, AB 1945, was passed with bipartisan support and corrected the misclassification of dispatchers as an “administrative” or “clerical” occupation, the release said.