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
Emergency medical services require the accuracy of priority dispatching to optimize the match between patients' medical needs, prehospital resources, and maintaining patient safety. When ambulances are traveling with Lights/Sirens rather than with other vehicles' flow and speed on the road, they place themselves and the public at a higher risk. From 1992-2011, 58% of all injuries and fatalities in ambulances occurred when the ambulance was traveling with Lights/Sirens. EMS physician(s) are responsible for all aspects of the EMS system, including EMD protocols. This research aims to evaluate the sensitiv
During a given incident, dispatchers are under high stress balancing the workload of listening, understanding, recording, and responding to an unfolding event. These personnel work in a high stakes environment, where seconds can mean life and death. They are called upon to be the voice of reason and calm during traumatic events, and must follow policy and procedures in effectively communicating event information to a number of different user groups. The goal of this work was to demonstrate how a predictive workload equation can be used to evaluate cognitive workload of a dispatcher during a representati
The difficulty of evaluating 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.
On January 31, 2022, beginning at about 1730hrs, southern Saskatchewan was overtaken by an extreme blizzard affecting a population of approximately 600 000 people.
As the snowstorm raged, the team working at Medical Communications South was closely watching the provincial Highway Hotline website for a real-time view of road conditions. This website displays a map of the Saskatchewan road network, with roadways color-coded to indicate current driving conditions. The team watched as the map rapidly changed from yellow, the color of common winter conditions, to white--travel not recommended—and again to
The National Association of EMS Physicians and the then National Association of State EMS Directors created a position statement on emergency medical vehicle use of lights and siren in 1994.1 This document updates and replaces this previous statement and is now a joint position statement with the Academy of International Mobile Healthcare Integration, American Ambulance Association, American College of Emergency Physicians, Center for Patient Safety, International Academies of Emergency Dispatch, International Association of EMS Chiefs, International Association of Fire Chiefs, National Association of E