Georgia Association of Public Safety Communications Officials

Federal OMB Fails 9-1-1 Professionals

I write today with the unfortunate news that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has decided not to update the way 9-1-1 professionals are classified in the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC). We’ve consulted with a top law firm in DC and decided that pursuing a remedy in court is not a viable option. However, this decision is within OMB’s discretion, which means OMB, or even President Trump, has the power to correct it. APCO will continue fighting this. Today, I’m asking each of you to use social media to retweet the following that “@APCOintl” has tweeted:

Fed agency @OMBpress staff has failed the nation’s 9-1-1 professionals, deciding 9-1-1 call takers & dispatchers aren’t “protective” occupations. @realDonaldTrump @POTUS Please fix this! 9-1-1 professionals save lives. #911ProtectsMe

This will be an uphill battle. Like you, I’m very disappointed, but we should not allow an incorrect classification in a federal data catalogue to distract us from the bigger picture for increasing respect and recognition for 9-1-1 professionals.

What OMB’s Decision Means

The SOC classifies occupations according to the work performed. For those of us who understand 9-1-1, it’s obvious that 9-1-1 professionals belong in the “Protective Service” group. In fact, the staff involved with revising the SOC went so far as to tell us that they had no doubt that the work performed by 9-1-1 professionals is protective. Based on conversations with OMB, we believe OMB staff gave weight to where the work is primarily being performed and decided not to make 9-1-1 professionals part of the “Protective Service” category because they mostly work inside comm centers. This is not a strict application of the SOC’s organization principles or its current makeup, but nonetheless, this is what OMB decided.
APCO will continue to fight on your behalf at every opportunity. Thank you for the work you do to protect the public and field responders every day. Please ask your colleagues, friends, and family to retweet the APCO tweet about this injustice. We need everyone to help us make the President aware.

Derek K. Poarch
Executive Director & CEO
APCO International