Years ago, when I worked in a 911 center, I don’t ever remember hearing the terms “vicarious trauma,” or “compassion fatigue.”
Occasionally “burnout” was mentioned to describe how we felt after long stretches of intense work; although it mostly expressed
years of exhaustion and time spent in the emergency dispatch center. Not much attention was given to the day-to-day stress and
mental trauma that was happening along the way.
Occupational Identity is a term used to describe how a person sees themself as a worker. Researchers have studied how one’s identity at work affects not only one’s occupational success, but their attitudes, experiences, and emotions both inside and outside of the workplace. Our featured research article in this issue, written by Violet (Lisa) Rymshaw, PsyD, provides valuable insights on occupational identity among emergency dispatchers—a profession that is sometimes given short shrift within the realm of emergency services occupations.
The ‘Great Resignation,’ as it has been dubbed by many, did not spare emergency dispatch agencies. Indeed, emergency service agencies, including dispatch centers, may have been impacted even worse than most other employers. This is particularly unwelcome news, given the already long-standing staffing and recruiting difficulties in the profession. This phenomenon of employees leaving their jobs in large numbers appears to have started sometime after COVID-19 swept across the world in 2020. Several factors, including fear of being exposed to COVID, opportunities to work from home at a new job, and poor pa
If you’re reading this, you probably already believe in the importance of data and evidence in decision making. You are probably already interested in learning more about how dispatch operates “behind the scenes”—how dispatching standards originate and evolve. You may also be hoping to be able to apply data, research, and standards to your own dispatch operations. In all of these respects, emergency dispatching has come a long way in the past 35 years.
Welcome to the fourth issue of the Annals of Emergency Dispatch & Response. We have reached our second birthday going strong: this issue contains the most overall papers, the broadest scope of topics, the most diverse group of authors, and the most peer-reviewed research of any issue so far. Perhaps even more importantly, putting out our fourth issue makes us eligible for listing in online research databases. We’ll be more visible, more accessible, and more citable than ever.
At first glance, the pieces in this issue of AEDR may not seem to have much in common. A statistician’s notes on the challenges of Big Data? A discussion of vehicles trapped in rising floodwaters? A review of the words and phrases that most often signal stroke? What could all of these things possibly have to do with one another? In terms of topic, not much; but in the bigger picture, these pieces have something much more important in common. They signal a sea change in dispatch research, a shift from a narrow focus on one or two critical incident types (mostly medical, mostly cardiac arrest-related) to
If one thing has defined emergency dispatching over the past 40 years, it has been the desire to always be doing it better: better interrogations of callers, better Pre-Arrival Instructions, better customer service—the list goes on and on. To drive constant improvement in dispatch is also the purpose of the Annals of Emergency Dispatch & Response. We aim to provide emergency dispatch professionals, whether line calltakers, quality assurance specialists, or communication center managers, with the best and most up-to-date information available about the critical work they do.
Evidence-based medicine (sometimes called scientific medicine) has existed in some form since at least the 16th century, when Andreus Vesalius, the "father of human anatomy," published diagrams of the human body actually based on anatomical investigation. William Harvey's publication of the first accurate description of the cardiovascular system, the 1665 discovery of the cell by Robert Hooke, and the 19th-century revelation of the neuron as the basic unit of the brain were also critical milestones. In the 1960s, the push toward evidence-based medicine became stronger, and basic science research began..
Two of the most prominent trends in healthcare right now—paradoxically— are diversification and mergers. Many larger healthcare entities are swallowing smaller ones, creating central hubs that offer huge varieties of services and smaller, outlying branded clinics that feed into the hubs. What this means for patient care remains to be seen. What it means for diversification within each organization, though, is already becoming apparent. Larger, merged entities can offer more varied continuums of care, including for example emergency services that lead directly into on-site rehabilitation and affiliated h
Welcome to the third issue of the Annals of Emergency Dispatch and Response (AEDR) since its inauguration in March-April 2013. To better serve our readers, the main focus in this AEDR issue is case studies.