City of Mobile and County of Mobile Recognize Dispatchers as First Responders


MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) – There is a movement across the country to recognize 911 dispatchers as first responders, and progress is already being made locally.

This week, the Mobile County Commission and the City of Mobile recognized Public Safety Telecommunications Officers as first responders.

Those recognized are 911 call center dispatchers, as well as mobile police and fire department public safety dispatchers.

Every day for 12 and a half years, Lin Casoria-Scott has put on her helmet to try to help those who need it most.

“It’s the type of work, once you log in it starts immediately with a call, so there’s no warm-up time,” said Casoria-Scott, who is a team supervisor for the Mobile County Communications District.

They work 12-hour shifts to connect callers with the help they need.

“It can range from an ordinary traffic accident with no injuries to something very serious like domestic violence, and so these callers can be extremely upset. What we’re trying to do is get a location for knowing where they are and depending on the caller and how angry they are can be a challenge,” Casoria-Scott said.

At present, they are still classified as court clerks at the federal level.

“The way we’ve been recognized puts us in a category that really doesn’t show the expertise and training our operators go through and everything they need to know to handle calls. It’s kind of a skilled type of job that requires a lot of training,” Casoria-Scott said.

Their supporters, including Mobile County Communications District Director Charlie McNichol, want that to change.

“They are the first of the first responders, when you dial 911 they get things moving. Often they are in charge of the scene until the responders on the ground arrive,” McNichol said.

“It’s more than a clerk, it’s stressful, they help people when they really need it most,” McNichol said. “Our goal is to get them on this team, to have them recognize that they are the first of the first responders.”

They want to give dispatchers the title of first responder, to reflect what they do for their communities. “We are here to help them and do our best for them,” Casoria-Scott said.

Baldwin County also passed a similar resolution recognizing dispatchers as first responders, and it’s happening statewide. There is also a national movement to have them recognized as first responders at the federal level.


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