Original Research

Evaluating the Effect of Proper Use of “Tell Me Exactly What Happened” Case Entry Questions on Chief Complaint Selection and Information Gathering at Emergency Police Dispatch

The most critical and difficult part of the Emergency Police Dispatcher’s (EPD) job may be the gathering of the initial problem description, which uses a scripted Protocol Case Entry Question (CEQ) but also requires interpretation on the part of the EPD. Specifically, at the beginning of the call, the EPD asks the caller the CEQ “Ok, tell me exactly what happened” (TMEWH). Based on the caller’s response, the EPD selects a Chief Complaint (CC) Protocol—a specific protocol that...

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PSAP Leadership Perceptions of Quality: A Six-Dimensional Model

Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) quality can have life-or-death implications. The quality of service provided by PSAPs is inconsistent due to the lack of mandatory standards of care at the national, state, and local levels. Public demands and duties placed on PSAPs have grown due to technological changes, civil cases alleging negligence, and the emergence of national recommended standards of care, yet governments at all levels have been slow to create governance structures to...

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Impact of Work-Related Factors on Stress and Health among 911 Calltakers and Dispatchers in California

Empirical literature examining the health and wellness of emergency responders has continued to grow over the past decade. Yet there is a relative absence of literature on 911 telecommunicators, who are often the “first, first responders” in an emergency. Examination of work-related factors that enhance risk for stress and adverse outcomes may improve current prevention and intervention efforts in this population. Methods: Civilian 911 calltakers and dispatchers from the state of...

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Barriers Significantly Influence Time to Bystander Compressions in Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest

Rapid identification of sudden out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) and delivery of bystander chest compressions in patients with ventricular fibrillation are key elements in the chain of survival. However, time to bystander compressions can be greatly affected by a wide variety of barriers, some beyond an EMD’s control. s: The aim of this study is to identify and quantify the impact that barriers have on the time taken to achieve bystander compressions for suspected...

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Persons Descriptions Reported to Emergency Police Dispatch

Identification of persons based on verbal descriptions is one of the key skills of police work. Gathering as much description information as possible immediately following the event—for example, at the point of emergency police dispatch—could substantially improve the accuracy of suspect descriptions, the ability to locate missing persons quickly, and other key outcomes of effective police work. : The primary objective of this study was to determine what amount and...

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Comparison of EMD Selection of Sick Person Chief Complaint Protocol with On-Scene Responder Findings

The Emergency Medical Dispatcher’s (EMD’s) selection of the most appropriate Chief Complaint Protocol is one of the most important elements in emergency dispatching. Choosing the correct Chief Complaint ensures that the correct information is gathered, the correct instructions and help provided, and the right resources sent. The selection of the MPDS Sick Person Protocol is often one of the most difficult for EMDs. s: The primary objective of this study is to compare the...

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Implications of Pre-Alerts for Medical Emergency Calls

In emergency dispatching, pre-alerts are used to send responders to calls prior to getting a final dispatch code. Some studies have showed that pre-alerts can effectively reduce dispatch time for out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, potentially improving overall patient outcome. However, there is also a potential risk in running lights-and-siren on non-fully triaged calls. Although pre-alerts have been used for several years, no research studies have demonstrated its benefit, in...

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Predicting the Need for Extrication in Traffic Accidents Reported to 911: Is Anyone Pinned/Trapped?

Extrication activities at the scene of motor vehicle accidents (MVA) result in extended scene times and increase morbidity and mortality. Identifying the need for extrication-capable resources during the 911 call-taking process, and dispatching them without delay, is crucial to delivering the required response and patient care. Determining the need for extrication using the Traffic/Transport Incidents Protocol in the Medical Priority Dispatch System (MPDS®) (version 13.0...

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