Dec. 6, 2016 – West Bend, WI – Effective today, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office began using Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) protocols within its Communications Center.
Emergency Medical Dispatch is the practice of utilizing trained and certified personnel to receive and manage requests for emergency medical responses. It is an enhancement to what is already being done by communications officers to assist in determining the nature and priority of the call, dispatch the appropriate response and then provide the caller with appropriate instruction to assist the patient until responding EMS units arrive.
The program is meant to formalize and standardize the existing process.
The dispatcher’s response is based upon an approved emergency medical dispatch protocol reference system that runs independently from the computer system used for dispatching emergency medical services. The independent structure eliminates any delay that integrated systems can intrinsically have between the time of the 911 call and the dispatching of emergency medical services. The addition of this protocol is meant as an enhancement to public safety by allowing Emergency Medical Dispatchers to provide systematic guidance to callers as first responders are simultaneously sent to the scene.
All Washington County Communication Officers have completed the EMD certification course and will recertify every two years. Part of this certification process involves call assessment using live scenario based training and subsequent evaluation. A quality assurance process is also used to ensure that proper protocols are being followed after the initial call, and confirm that all parties calling in for assistance are offered the same level of service.
The Emergency Medical Dispatcher has been recognized, and proven to be, an essential component of an effective EMS systems. Proper and timely training, as well as a sound Medical Protocol, help EMDs deliver quality care to the calling public with emergency medical needs. The Sheriff’s Office is pleased to add this component to our Communications Center.
Through the end of November of this year, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center has answered 20,067 emergency 911 calls.