Q and A with Author Jenna Streeter
Q1. Where do you work?
Madison County Fire Department Communications, Huntsville, AL, USA.
As manager, I oversee operations for 14 full-time employees; handle all policy development, training program development, and quality assurance/quality improvement program oversight; and am a liaison with 16 volunteer fire chiefs and other public safety officials.
Q2. What are the parts of your job that connect with research?
I regularly analyze data in decision-making in all fields identified above. My recent research project published in AEDR sparked my interest because we frequently discuss motor vehicle accident (MVA) coding and field response. There are lots of opinions about call processing and how it drives field response, but not a lot of data to back the veracity of what we do in dispatch and its relation to field findings.
Q3. What is your study about?
This study looks at call processing and its relationship with actual on-scene findings. I was interested in answering the question, "Is what we (in the communication center) hear, what they (in the field) actually find?" For instance, with MVAs you often get 3rd party callers or 2nd party callers in one car reporting on possible patients in another car (that they haven't spoken to). Sometimes we are told the occupants aren't out of the car, but does this mean they're trapped? How often does the information we gather match the on-scene impression? It helps develop trust in the system, both in the communication center and in relationships with the responding agencies.
Q4. What brought you into the emergency dispatch profession?
I needed a job in 2007!! A friend (and HR manager) told me she thought I might be a good dispatcher, so I gave it a shot. It fits me well and my needs in a profession (I don't like boring and routine).
Q5. What prompted your interest in research?
I have a background in environmental biology and have always enjoyed the research process and testing theories.
Q6. What drives your continued interest?
As mentioned, I think data is vital in all aspects of work. It's the difference between what we may THINK and what we can KNOW.
Q7. What are your recommendations for people interested in research but lacking the confidence to get started or not knowing where to begin?
The International Academies of Emergency Dispatch® (IAED™) has a great research team that provides tons of support. Connecting with someone who has done research and can mentor you through the process is always a good idea. If you've ever questioned "why" or "what if," you can develop that question into research (operationalizing the question) and test your ideas!
For more information, read the entire paper: aedrjournal.org/correlation-of-emergency-medical-dispatch-traffic-transportation-incidents-to-on-scene-outcomes