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  1. #1
    smokeater
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post 911 questions

    Was just listening to the 911 tapes of the shooting in Atlanta.
    It seems to me that the dispatcer was trying to do a EMTs job of asking to many questions not important to the situation on hand.


  2. #2
    721
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Somewhere the current 911 dispatch system seems to have changed from getting help to where it is needed as fast as possible, to being a data collection agency.

    A recient call, subject down, possible heart attack, was less than a mile from our station. Duty man responded with tones, and several memebers arrived as the rescue truck did. Discovered pt. down in bathroom, in cardiac arrest and CPR initiated within the first minute on scene.

    Mean while members attempting to get information from the pt's. wife were hit with questions as to why 911 asked so many questions and took so long to get an ambulance started. (We only run first responder, but EMS also responding).

    Bottom line, the pt. did not survive, and may not have if we had been on scene within 30 seconds of onset of symptoms. Would the welfare of the pt. not be better served if the 911 operator got brief description, verify address shown on 911 screen and start first responders and EMS then, instead of doing a complete medical history and pt. evaluation over the phone before starting help.

    In many ways, collecting as much data as possible may be the way to do things, but when the clock is ticking such as during a heart attack, it is counter productive.

    911 is a very valuable tool for the firefighter, EMT, and law enforcement, but the improper use of any tool makes it worthless or even a counter productive. Let's be careful that 911 doesn't cross this line, where I fear it is headed.

  3. #3
    GregMiddleton
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Lightbulb

    I would encourage everyone to visit their Communications Center and learn how they in particular triage/dispatch calls. Our center, as I suspect most that have more then 1 person on duty work on a partnership basis. While one person is speaking to the 911 caller, the second is initiating a response to the scene. We make it part of our protocols that as soon as we have verified the address and phone number, to tell the caller that help is already on the way but that we need to ask some more questions in the meantime.

    This way YOU don't end up arriving on scene and having an angry pt or family member thinking that time was wasted. It probably wasn't, but the only way you'll find out is by learning how YOUR communication center works and then making suggestions for change if needed.

    Greg Middleton
    Emergency Medical Services
    City of Austin, Texas

  4. #4
    lt74
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I AGREE THAT TIME IS OF THE UPMOST IMPORTANCE WHEN DEALING WITH LIFE AND DEATH.
    I HAVE BEEN A DISPATCHER FOR THE PAST 14 YEARS AND THINGS HAVE CHANGED DRAMATICALLY IN THE PAST FEW YEARS. WITH THE ADVENT OF PRE ARRIVAL INSTRUCTIONS AND PRIORITY DISPATCH. IN OUR CENTER WE SCREEN EVERY CALLER AND DURING THE SCREENING WE ARE DISPATCHING THE CALL AT THE SAME TIME IN MANY CASES. I CAN SAY THAT IN THE FIRST YEAR OUR CENTER STARTED GIVING THE INSTRUCTION TO THE CALLERS WE HAD 4 CARDIAC ARRESTS AND ALL WERE SAVES DUE TO THE CALLER LISTENING AND DOING WHAT WAS NEEDED UNTIL THE EMS ARRIVED.
    I PERSONNALLY HAVE HAD 2 SAVES DUE TO EARLY INTERVENTION BY THE CALLER, THAT IF IT HAD NOT BEEN DONE THE PATIENT WOULD HAVE DIED.
    I ALSO A THE EMS CAPT. OF A STA IN OUR CTY. SO I UNDERSTAND WHERE THE COMMENTS ARE COMING FROM. I AM NOT FAMILIAR WITH THE PREVIOUS CALL HOWEVER I DO KNOW IF THE CALLER WILL WORK WITH YOU THEY CAN MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE. I AGREE THAT ALL FIRE AND EMS PERSONNEL SHOULD VISIT THIER DISPATCH CENTERS AND SEE JUST WHAT DOES GO ON YOU MAY BE SURPRISED AT WHAT YOU FIND OUT.

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