Contact: Sierra Wallace
Public Engagement Manger
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW ORLEANS, LA (April 7th, 2022), Executive Director Tyrell Morris, current president of the Louisiana Chapter of the National Emergency Number Association, and members of the OPCD team traveled to Baton Rouge, LA to provide testimony to the Louisiana House of Representatives Committee of Municipal, Parochial and Culture Affairs in support of HB392 sponsored by State Representative Jason Hughes. During his testimony, Director Morris highlighted the brave and heroic work 9-1-1 professionals around the nation and our state do every day by answering roughly 240 million calls annually.
Emergency Communication Centers (ECC) are a critical role in the incident response cycle, and it takes incredible skill, just like our other public safety partners. Formal recognition as a “first responder” by statue would pave the way for communication districts to offer competitive salaries comparable to the true work being performed, offer access to mental health services, as well as a retirement system similar to other public safety entities.
Also, in attendance was Bill Salmeron, Chief of New Orleans Emergency Medical Services, who spoke in support of the bill and provided testimony. After the testimony of Director Morris, Chief Salmeron and Representative Hughes, the committee moved favorably on the amendment and sent it the full House of Representatives for a vote to be taken at a later date.
“Today was a successful first step in ensuring our emergency communication professionals across the state receive the classification and recognition they rightly deserve,” said State Representative Jason Hughes. “Director Morris provided compelling testimony today that helped my colleagues have a deep understanding as to why the passage of this bill is so important. I look forward to seeing this bill on the Governor’s desk for signature.”
“Everyone understands the heroic work that our Heroes Under the Headset do every day,” said OPCD Executive Director, Tyrell Morris “it is time that the law reflects that. Reclassification is simply the right thing to do, and I am happy to see that Louisiana is well on our way to joining this national movement. Reclassification will allow us to make adjustments to training, benefits and compensation to ensure we can attract and retain top talent. Our team and our community deserve that.”
To watch video of today’s hearing, click here.
To read House Bill 392 in its entirety, click here.
To read Director Morris’s written testimony, click here.
To read Chief Salmeron’s written testimony, click here.
About the Orleans Parish Communication District (www.OPCDLA.gov)
Formed in 1982, the Orleans Parish Communication District is the PSAP for all emergency communications via 9-1-1, and non-emergency communications via 3-1-1, within Orleans Parish. The agency employs over 150 individuals and provides emergency medical dispatch, emergency fire dispatch, and emergency police dispatch for the millions of annual visitors and residents of the City of New Orleans. OPCD is a member of the Association of Public Safety Communication Officials (APCO) and the National Emergency Number Association (NENA).
The Mission of OPCD is to get the Right People to the Right Place at the Right Time, Better than Anyone Else in the World