SSB-5555 Frequently Asked Questions

SSB-5555 Frequently Asked Questions

With SSB-5555 becoming law in the state of Washington, there are a lot of questions tied to its implementation. This FAQ is updated as new questions are received. Contact if you have a question not already answered.

Why do we need Statewide Certification?

Public Safety Telecommunicators (PSTs) are the only public safety professionals who are not required to be certified and do not have standardized training. The public expects a standard level of service when they call 911 regardless of where they are in the State. All PSTs need to receive minimum training to ensure a standard level of service. Continuing education and recertification will keep PSTs’ skills and knowledge current and prepare them for changes in the profession.

What are the crucial components of the PST certification bill?

The Bill establishes a volunteer PST Certification Board that will 1) Set minimum training standards for Public Safety Telecommunicators 2) Ensure PST training programs meet the standards 3) Set the certification and recertification requirements 4) Plan the transition process for existing PSTs to obtain initial certification.
The bill acknowledges PSTs as part of the first responder community. Long over-due!

The Bill establishes a PST Certification Board composed of:
o   Chair or Vice-Chair State 911 Advisory Committee
o   2- Emergency Communications Centers Directors (East/West)
o   2- Labor Union Representatives
o   1-Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs Representative
o   1-State Fire Chiefs Association Representative
o   1-Washington Association of Counties Representative
o   2-Public Safety Telecommunicators (East/West)

The State 911 Coordinator’s Office will provide staff functions for the Board

How will the certification program be funded?

The nominal funding required to administer the program and the Board activities will come from the State E911 account. An excise tax on telecommunications devices funds the State E911 Account.

How many States require minimum training for public safety telecommunicators?

31 other States require some level of minimum training for telecommunicators