(1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
(a) “911 public safety telecommunicator” means a public safety dispatcher or 911 operator whose duties and responsibilities include the answering, receiving, transferring, and dispatching functions related to 911 calls; dispatching law enforcement officers, fire rescue services, emergency medical services, and other public safety services to the scene of an emergency; providing real-time information from federal, state, and local crime databases; or supervising or serving as the command officer to a person or persons having such duties and responsibilities. However, the term does not include administrative support personnel, including, but not limited to, those whose primary duties and responsibilities are in accounting, purchasing, legal, and personnel.
(b) “Department” means the Department of Health.
(c) “Public safety telecommunication training program” means a 911 emergency public safety telecommunication training program that the department determines to be equivalent to the public safety telecommunication training program curriculum framework developed by the Department of Education and consists of not less than 232 hours.
(2) PERSONNEL; STANDARDS AND CERTIFICATION.— (a) Effective October 1, 2012, any person employed as a 911 public safety telecommunicator at a public safety answering point, as defined in s. 365.172(3)(a), must be certified by the department. (b) A public safety agency, as defined in s. 365.171(3)(d), may employ a 911 public safety telecommunicator trainee for a period not to exceed 12 months if the trainee works under the direct supervision of a certified 911 public safety telecommunicator, as determined by rule of the department, and is enrolled in a public safety telecommunication training program.
(c) An applicant for certification or recertification as a 911 public safety telecommunicator must apply to the department under oath on forms provided by the department. The department shall establish by rule educational and training criteria for the certification and recertification of 911 public safety telecommunicators.
(d) The department shall determine whether the applicant meets the requirements specified in this section and in rules of the department and shall issue a certificate to any person who meets such requirements. Such requirements must include the following:
1. Completion of an appropriate 911 public safety telecommunication training program;
2. Certification under oath that the applicant is not addicted to alcohol or any controlled substance;
3. Certification under oath that the applicant is free from any physical or mental defect or disease that might impair the applicant’s ability to perform his or her duties;
4. Submission of the application fee prescribed in subsection (3);
5. Submission of a completed application to the department which indicates compliance with subparagraphs 1., 2., and 3.; and
6. Effective October 1, 2012, passage of an examination approved by the department which measures the applicant’s competency and proficiency in the subject material of the public safety telecommunication training program.
(e) The department shall establish by rule a procedure that requires 20 hours of training for the biennial renewal certification of 911 public safety telecommunicators.
(f) A 911 public safety telecommunicator certificate expires automatically if not renewed at the end of the 2-year period and may be renewed if the holder meets the qualifications for renewal as established by the department. A certificate that is not renewed at the end of the 2-year period automatically reverts to an inactive status for a period that may not exceed 180 days. Such certificate may be reactivated and renewed within the 180-day period if the certificateholder meets all other qualifications for renewal and pays a $50 late fee. Reactivation shall be in a manner and on forms prescribed by department rule.
(g) The department may suspend or revoke a certificate at any time if it determines that the certificateholder does not meet the applicable qualifications.
(h) A certificateholder may request that his or her 911 public safety telecommunicator certificate be placed on inactive status by applying to the department before his or her current certification expires and paying a fee set by the department, which may not exceed $50.
1. A certificateholder whose certificate has been on inactive status for 1 year or less may renew his or her certificate pursuant to the rules adopted by the department and upon payment of a renewal fee set by the department, which may not exceed $50.
2. A certificateholder whose certificate has been on inactive status for more than 1 year may renew his or her certificate pursuant to rules adopted by the department.
3. A certificate that has been inactive for more than 6 years automatically expires and may not be renewed.
(i) If a person was employed as a 911 public safety telecommunicator or a state-certified firefighter before April 1, 2012, he or she must pass the examination approved by the department which measures the competency and proficiency in the subject material of the public safety telecommunication program, as defined in paragraph (1)(c). Upon passage of the examination, the completion of the public safety telecommunication training program is waived.
(j)1. The requirement for certification as a 911 public safety telecommunicator is waived for a person employed as a sworn state-certified law enforcement officer, provided the officer:
a. Is selected by his or her chief executive to perform as a 911 public safety telecommunicator;
b. Performs as a 911 public safety telecommunicator on an occasional or limited basis; and
c. Passes the department-approved examination that measures the competency and proficiency of an applicant in the subject material comprising the public safety telecommunication program.
2. A sworn state-certified law enforcement officer who fails an examination taken under subparagraph 1. must take a department-approved public safety telecommunication training program prior to retaking the examination.
3. The testing required under this paragraph is exempt from the examination fee required under subsection (3).
(k) The department shall establish by rule a procedure for the approval of public safety telecommunication training programs required by this section.
(a) The initial application fee for the 911 public safety telecommunicator original certificate is $50.
(b) The examination fee for the 911 public safety telecommunicator shall be set by the department and may not exceed $75.
(c) The application fee for the 911 public safety telecommunicator biennial renewal certificate shall be set by the department and may not exceed $50.
(d) The application fee for department approval of a public safety telecommunication training program shall be set by the department and may not exceed $50.
(e) Fees collected under this section shall be deposited into the Emergency Medical Services Trust Fund and used solely for salaries and expenses of the department incurred in administering this section.
(f) If a certificate issued under this section is lost or destroyed, the person to whom the certificate was issued may, upon payment of a fee set by the department, which may not exceed $25, obtain a duplicate or substitute certificate.
(g) Upon surrender of the original 911 public safety telecommunicator or emergency dispatcher certificate and receipt of a replacement fee set by the department, which may not exceed $25, the department shall issue a replacement certificate to make a change in name.
(4) STATE-OF-EMERGENCY WAIVER.—The provisions of this section may be temporarily waived by the department in a geographic area of the state where a state of emergency has been declared by the Governor pursuant to s. 252.36.