WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), along with Congresswomen Robin Kelly (IL-02) and Norma Torres (CA-35), led the bipartisan Providing Resources and Occupational Training for Emotional Crisis and Trauma (PROTECT) 911 Act to address health issues for our country’s 9-1-1 dispatchers and call takers. The legislation is supported by the National Emergency Number Association (NENA).

"Our 9-1-1 dispatchers and call-takers have stepped up to serve their community, and when we need help, they answer our call and keep us safe in crisis situations," said Congressman Fitzpatrick. "I am proud to support the bipartisan Providing Resources and Occupational Training for Emotional Crisis and Trauma (PROTECT) 911 Act, which calls attention to the mental health needs of our brave 9-1-1 professionals."

"Too often, the mental health and well-being of our 9-1-1 operators and dispatchers is treated as an afterthought, if addressed at all, even as they encounter distressing and desperate situations as a necessary part of their job," said Congresswoman Kelly. "Emergency operators often encounter violent, disturbing situations, all while trying to determine how best to help in the situation and communicate vital information to the person on the other end of the line. We need to ensure that the folks taking our most urgent calls are able to take care of themselves. I am proud to lead this bill along with my colleagues, Rep. Fitzpatrick and Rep. Torres, to provide help for these professionals working every day to keep our communities safe."

"As a former 911 dispatcher for over 17 years, I know firsthand that the demands of the job are immense and how difficult it is for dispatchers to ask for help," said Congresswoman Torres. "Dispatchers help the public in their most vulnerable moments, and the PROTECT 911 Act can do the same for the telecommunicator community. These grant programs for behavioral health and wellness programs will help save lives. I'm proud to partner with Reps. Kelly and Fitzpatrick on this vital piece of legislation."

"The PROTECT 911 Act is a crucial step toward addressing the reality that those who work in 9-1-1, unfortunately, know all too well: that life under the headset can take a great emotional and psychological toll," said Brian Fontes, CEO of NENA: The 9-1-1 Association. "We thank Representatives Kelly, Fitzpatrick, and Torres for introducing this legislation; just as 9-1-1 professionals across the country work every day to keep Americans healthy and safe, these members of Congress are working to do the same for our nation's first responders."