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. Dr. Rymshaw presents her thematic analysis of a detailed survey she conducted with emergency dispatcher participants from California emergency communications centers. She not only provides information on types of events that induce stress among emergency dispatchers, but also offers specific recommendations on improving emergency dispatcher well-being, including on “building a work environment that fosters resilience to stress” and making interventions available when highly stressful events occur.
Ambulance time stamps and time intervals during both a response and a hospital transport are ‘Key Performance Indicators’(KPIs) for emergency medical services (EMS) systems throughout the world. However, to make effective comparisons of ambulance times across systems and countries, there must be a standardized set of terms and measures used consistently worldwide. A research team led by Edel Burton has recorded terminology and definitions of ambulance times in 10 countries and reported on them in this issue. Their findings demonstrate that there is much work to be done to achieve international standardization of ambulance times terminology.
What impact are emergency dispatchers having on lifesaving by delivering Dispatcher-Directed CPR via phone before arrival trained field responders? Indeed, most research that examines this question document higher survival rates when Dispatcher-Directed CPR is done consistently, yet quantifying the net benefit of this practice has proven complicated by the inability to obtain
complete data on how much sooner, on average, CPR begins. We present a case report here that uses a large data set from several hundred agencies and an extrapolation from a previous study to show the tremendous impact that emergency dispatchers can have on the ‘chain of survival.’
Longtime writer on all topics in emergency services Audrey Frazier introduces us to another budding emergency dispatch researcher in our Research Spotlight. And this time it’s someone who came up through the ranks in an emergency communications center. Doing research is another way that some emergency dispatch professionals are making a meaningful contribution to the growing body of knowledge in their field.
Greg Scott, Editor-in-Chief