The speedy spread of the global outbreak of COVID-19 called for rapid deployment of tools to monitor its trends. In January 2020, the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch® (IAED) released an official statement about the novel coronavirus with specific guidelines for our Medical Priority Dispatch System (MPDS)-user agencies to use the Emerging Infectious Disease Surveillance (EIDS) Tool for Sick Person (Protocol 26), Breathing Problems (Protocol 6), and other Chief Complaints where the caller offers information leading the emergency medical dispatcher (EMD) to suspect a respiratory-type illness.
Research has showed that heart attacks present clinically with varying symptoms; and those symptoms are not always described by patients as chest pain or chest discomfort. Emergency Medical Dispatchers (EMDs) using the Medical Priority Dispatch System (MPDS™) are trained to select the Chest Pain/Chest Discomfort Protocol for non-chest pain heart attack symptoms or classic heart attack complaint of chest pain/chest discomfort. Nevertheless, it is still unknown how often callers report heart attack symptoms other than chest pain/chest discomfort, including what specific words/phrases they use to describe
The difficulty of evaluating the mental status, particularly alertness, is more pronounced in the medical dispatch context, where the Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD) must work through the eyes and ears of the caller, who is most likely a layperson. Determining true non-alertness and the level of its effects on outcome needs to be solved to perfect the interrogation and response-coding processes at dispatch.
2022 is beginning to shape up as a year of opportunity for us in the public safety and public health professions. As COVID-19 transforms from a pandemic to an endemic disease, emergency services should get a much-needed moment to reset and recharge. Indeed, we can use this well-deserved breather to focus on areas needing improvement in our field. One such area is how we manage responses to 911 medical calls for help. For many years, researchers and analysts have documented the need to reduce lights and siren response to medical calls for emergency assistance, warning of an overreliance on these ‘hot’ re
This issue of AEDR contains two very intriguing studies that, on the surface, seem completely unconnected. Yet many important issues in emergency dispatch are interdependent when one chooses to look a little closer. One study, conducted with the participation of focus groups representing some of Utah’s diverse communities, tells us how members of those communities make their decisions to call 911, why they may not call even when true emergencies present to them, and what factors most influence their decision-making to call or not to call, including a finding that we may not always be delivering the righ
What’s next for the First, First Responder? Since that term was first coined decades ago by Dr. Jeff Clawson in the nascent years of emergency medical dispatch development, much has changed. One of the biggest changes is the expanded role of the emergency telecommunicator in general—not simply the role of the emergency medical dispatcher (EMD), who was the subject of the earliest efforts to professionalize emergency telecommunicators with formal training and continuing education...
The primary objective of this study
was to determine the ability of an
Emergency Communication Nurse (ECN)
to appropriately identify the Abdominal
Pain Chief Complaint Protocol to use to
triage patients in low-acuity cases. The
secondary objectives were to establish
the most frequently used primary triage
code (Medical Priority Dispatch System™
(MPDS®) Determinant Codes), triggering
the use of the Abdominal Pain Chief
Complaint Protocol in the Emergency
Communication Nurse System™ (ECNS™),
as well as the percentage of these
calls resulting in a Recommended Care
Level (RCL) of “emergency a
The overall objective of the study was
to determine whether layperson callers
can effectively stop simulated bleeding
using an improvised or a commercial
tourniquet, when provided with scripted
instructions via phone from a trained
Anecdotally, numerous MPDS® (Priority Dispatch Corp., Salt Lake City, Utah, USA)-user agencies in the USA, Canada, UK, and Brazil have reported that the emergency caller has difficulty understanding the key question (KQ) “Is s/he completely alert?”
Situational awareness (SA, also called
situation awareness) is the ability to take in
relevant information about an event in order to
understand it and take effective action.
Maintaining effective SA as an emergency
medical dispatcher (EMD) may be more
difficult than in other, similarly complex roles
because of the remote nature of an
emergency call for help.