During a recent Jackson County Commission Meeting, Montana Boggess, the Jackson County 911 director, presented the Commission with a proclamation regarding the issue of recognizing the 911 Public Safety Telecommunicators as First Responders.

According to Boggess, the 911 Operators are currently classified as clerical workers, even though they are the first to answer the call when an emergency happens. They are the public’s first point of communication when it comes to finding out what has or is happening at that time.

“Every county in the state right now is currently trying to get their Commission to sign a proclamation.” Boggess said. “There are four counties who have already done it, Kanawha, Brooke, Marshall, and Upshur. Basically all it is, is saying that you as a Commission recognize the Telecommunicators as First Responders and appreciate their efforts through what they do.”

Boggess said the Telecommunicators do the same things and go through the same trauma as the First Responders, they are just not out in the field.

Once every county has their Commission agree to the proclamation, Boggess said the 911 Council would like to take it to the state level then hopefully on to a national level, which would allow Telecommunicators to be designated as First Responders, thus changing retirement as well as other items.

Commissioner Mike Randolph complemented Boggess on a great job with the 911 service.

“I appreciate the effort that you’ve taken,” Randolph said. “I’ve noticed in the past that you have taken an interest in the employees, motivation wise, and I think that’s a good thing.”

On Wednesday, Nov. 20, the Commission unanimously approved the 911 Resolution proclaiming 911 dispatchers as true “First Responders.”

In other business:

• Commission voted to approve exonerations as submitted by Assessor Brian Thomas, as well as approving the regular fiduciary paperwork.

• They approved to execute the National Prescription Opiate Litigation Exclusion Request Form subject to continuing settlement negotiations.

• Armstrong World Industries Notice of Bond Redemption was approved.

• Commission President Dick Waybright was approved and authorized to execute the contract and all supporting documents with the Division of Justice and Community Services on the VOCA grant that will provided $38,272 in funding.

• Commission approved the additional allotment of funds to S&J Contracting LLC in the amount of $1,800 toward the repair of the Extension Service decking, due to unforeseen issues with the area between the deck and building.

• Stephanie Merical was approved to be hired as a full-time employee for the County Clerk’s Office effective Dec. 1.

• Commission approved the hiring of Doug Skeen as a part-time employee for the Assessor’s Office with an effective date of Nov. 18.

• The resignations of Library Board members Tandi Durst, Marquita McIntyre, Lois Fish Beam, Paul Francis, and Cora Jones were recognized by the Commission.

• Commission approved Denise Toler, Suzie McGinley, Katrena Ramsey, Grace Arthur, and Savanna Whited to fill the unexpired terms of the Library Board.