The below letter from NENA's CEO, Brian Fontes, is being issued to America's governors urging them to prioritize the vaccination of 9-1-1 professionals against coronavirus.
Throughout the COVID crisis, our nation?s 9-1-1 professionals have been there for America, 24/7.
They have selflessly prioritized our health and safety over their own by continuing to work in close quarters, many times lacking access to vital PPE. They have dealt with constantly changing emergency-response protocols and surges in calls about domestic violence, mental-health crises, and serious, at-home illnesses. They have navigated quarantine-induced staffing shortages and, in most communities, no ability to work from home. Like other first responders, they have sacrificed and persevered so that when anyone dials 9-1-1, someone is there to help them.
Sadly, while the federal government and statehouses across the country have designated 9-1-1 professionals as essential workers throughout the pandemic, many states are not recognizing these public servants as essential when it comes to the distribution of coronavirus vaccines.
On behalf America?s 9-1-1 heroes, we respectfully call upon leaders in every state and territory to prioritize the vaccination of these essential frontline workers and include them in the ?public safety? category alongside their law-enforcement, fire-service, and EMS peers.
As we have seen in many cases already, COVID-19 outbreaks in any of our nation?s 6,000 9-1-1 centers have deeply concerning consequences, both for those citizens who dial 9-1-1 in moments of crisis and those field responders who rely on 9-1-1 professionals to coordinate emergency-response efforts. Leaders at all levels of government must take immediate action to vaccinate and protect those who protect us to ensure that no call for help ever goes unanswered.
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