Have a problem and looking to hear from anyone out there. We have dispatchers in our communications center that are certified as Emergency Medical Dispatchers and refuse to use the MPDS we have. I believe that our communications center and the supervisor as well as the dispatchers are on the edge of legal trouble. If anyone has had the same problem or has articles about centers being held liable in a situation, please get back to me.
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Thread: EMD's not doing there job
04-19-2000, 12:54 PM #1FF58Firehouse.com Guest
EMD's not doing there job
04-19-2000, 08:13 PM #2mtfd38Firehouse.com Guest
our dispatchers are trained emd's also and dont do the pre arrival instructions, ours is a strange situation as we are a secondary answering point, the 911 call is transfered to us from the psap who also has dispatchers trained in emd, so we dont get to do it very often and we are kind of rusty. as far as i know there should not be a legal problem unless the caller is expecting help on the phone and they are refused. then maybe the issue could be a problem.
05-02-2000, 01:12 AM #3Edneyville1562Firehouse.com Guest
IN OUR CENTER, ALL DISPATCHERS ARE BOTH NATIONAL AND STATE CERTIFIED EMD'S. WE HAVE NEVER BEEN ALLOWED TO VARY FROM THE CARDS. EACH MONTH, OUR SUPERVISOR ALONG WITH SEVERAL SUPERVISORS FROM EMS LISTEN TO SELECTED CALLS AND CRITIQUE CALLS TAKEN SO THAT WE CAN SEE WHERE WE ARE MAKING MISTAKES. I ALSO SEE THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS BECAUSE NOT ONLY DO I WORK IN THE 911 CENTER, I AM A VOL FIRE FIGHTER AND EMT. IT DOES GET FRUSTRATING WHEN OTHERS TAKE CALLS AND CONFUSE THE ISSUES AND I WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE ENTIRE CENTER NOT ONLY BECOME EMD CERTIFIED ALSO ALL OPERATORS CERTIFY EMT. THERE ALSO SHOULD BE A MANDATORY RIDE ALONG FOR IN SERVICE EACH MONTH OR QUARTERLY SO THAT EVERYONE INVOLVED GETS TO SEE THE OTHER SIDE OF THE RADIO.
05-05-2000, 09:57 AM #4ntfsparkFirehouse.com Guest
We are supposed to be providing EMD in our communication center. I, as an EMT, am glad that we are not, as some of our dispatchers have difficulty doing the everyday tasks, let alone the complicated ones. I have seen priority one dispatches (i.e. diff breathers, chest pains, abdominal pains) get dispatched on a priority three. These people have no clue of anything involved with EMS. It's scary!!! I have gotten into arguements with dispatcher senior to me about this stuff, and, because they are senior dispatchers, and I have only been there 5 years, my EMS experience and training mean nothing. I am alway wrong. I am hoping that as the senior people retire, things will get better.
05-21-2000, 12:19 AM #5Chief IzzyFirehouse.com Guest
what about having the certifications, cards, the whole nine yards, and there are things that are left out of the cards, and you come across an instance that, in the course of asking the written questions, you come across an answer that you cant proceed any further with?
my husband is an EMD, I am a firefighter/EMT, and the radio room supervisor for my dept., and when he brought home the cards, to study from, of all things, I gave him some scenario's that he could not answer..........
our county's policy does not allow a caller to be instructed to take a pulse,
and there was an instance, just recently, that went wrong,
a PT with agonal resps, or so the dispatcher thought, and he started to give instructions for compressions, and guess what?? he was NOT in arrest,,,,,
well, you know what happens when a PT with a viable pulse gets, when compressions are started on them,
nothing is being done to change these cards, and of course, nothing can go wrong with the dispatcher, that person was following the cards,
yes, I have seen many instances where the dispatcher does not do their job, and they dont follow the cards,
it is also hard sometimes to get someone to follow instructions, or to get them to give the answers that you need, if the questions arent clear,
one of the biggest problems that I have seen/heard with the dispatchers that refuse to use the cards , are people like me, unfortunately, ones that are in the streets, with the experience, and dont agree with them
and ones that think they can give better directions,
until something goes terribly wrong, we arent going to be able to get the cards changed, and nothing will be done with the " slackers" taking the phone calls,,,,,,,, and thats unfortunate,.
I think that this cards should be written, not only by a medical director, but should have the imput of emergency medical/ fire personnel,
there is a big difference at the way things are handled on the streets, and by someone that has never had to deal with the chaos on the streets
and I have seen those,
and I mean no disrespect to the medical directors,
but they should have to be in the ambulance for quite a while , before than can progress to another position
and also, seeing the training that the newbie dispatchers are being given, also makes it hard for them to do everything,
they get so much thrown atthem, and because of the high turn over rate, get shoved into being on their own, sometimes before they are ready,
but with a job like that, there is no excuse for being incompetent,
maybe making a complaint about an individual that is screwing up, might help some eyes to open, unless they brush it all off,.
05-22-2000, 03:16 AM #6Medic4BDFirehouse.com Guest
I am employed by a Municipal 911 center in Pennsylvania, we handle all 911 and non emergency requests for Police/Fire/EMS for the entire County (73 municipalities, approx 60 Fire/Rescue/EMS agencies) I am also the EMD Instructor for our agency. I am internationally certified by APCO and all our Dispatchers are APCO certified in Basic Dispatch as well as Advanced Fire Dispatch and APCO EMD.
If the dispatchers in your communication center are certified as Emergency Medical Dispatchers and you center has an approved EMD program the dispatchers are required to provide pre arrival instructions and emergency care instructions to callers and patients if it is possible and reasonable. Failing to provide instructions when they exist, there is an approved program and they can be provided is a breach of duty to act and potentially opens the door for a lawsuit ( it is gross negligence, they are making a conscious decision not to perform their duty), hello as a Paramedic if I choose not to administer the appropriate treatment to a patient when I had the resources equipment and protocol, what would happen to me.
Our EMD program has had great success with numerous saves, some resulting in public recognition and county Citations.
In response to ChiefIZZY's posting -- I do not know of any nationally recognized EMD programs that recommend a PULSE check, it is extremely difficult to explain to a lay caller how to check for a pulse..... and as far as starting CPR on a person with a pulse and agonal respirations... they needed it! contrary to popular CPR dogma, Chest compressions do not have any direct effect on cardiac electrical activity in a person with a pulse, and although some damage and trauma may be done... that is why assesing breathing is important, and can be done over the phone with proper instructions, agonal respirations occur after cardiac arrest and patients that have compromised respirations and are unconscious will soon be in full arrest if they are not already.
As far as dispatchers having no clue about EMS, that is a training issue... EMD's do not need to be EMT's or Paramedics nor do Fire Dispatchers need to be Firefighters.. they need good training and understanding.
In reference to calls being downgraded in priority, we utilize a CAD system that prioritizes call based upin the nature of the complaint, that way a Cardiac arrest always gets dispatched before a Sick person.
Any questions involving our EMD program or how to maintain and Q/A the program please email me, I will be more than happy to share. EMD works we can prove it!!
"In it for Life!"
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