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Thread: APCO EMD Cards

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Default APCO EMD Cards

    The dispatch agency I work for is considering going to the APCO EMD card system. I am looking for input from anybody who uses APCO EMD and what they think of it.

    Thanks for your help.

    fbachner@aol.com


  2. #2
    Forum Member DaFAO's Avatar
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    Have taken a couple APCO courses involving the cards- they look alright to me..No big issues...Little nic nacs here and there, but you always get that...Have you looked into www.powerphone.com ?
    My opinions only.

    AGS-SGA 091101

  3. #3
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    We have used the cards for several years and are very satisfied. They have been modified to meet our local standards by our medical control physician. The key to any EMD program is the ability to make such modifications, and to have a QA program in place.

  4. #4
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    I worked part-time at ECS dispatch in Daytona Beach, FL and was trained with the APCO system. As far as my experience, the system is good as good as the effort put into learning it. It isn't difficult to use and APCO does good training.
    Bless all of our Fallen Brothers and Sisters. You will not be forgotten

  5. #5
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    When I was a dispatcher we used powerphone books. They were really helpful, even if you just used them as a reference and not read from them directly.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber ramseycl's Avatar
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    We use the APCO EMD cards and are very satisfied. They are very easy to follow, even for dispatchers that don't have any EMS background. %The only problem I have, being an EMT, is wanting to use that knowledge on EMD calls. There is a big liability issue mixing the ems and emd skills.

  7. #7
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    We are nearly complete in our implementation of the APCO EMD program. We chose APCO over the other options because of the flexibility in their program. APCO requires you set up a local board that includes your Medical Advisor, a Dispatch Rep and a Paramedic. They have the ability to review the base cards and make changes to meet local response protocols. Most of the other programs will not allow this.

    APCO EMD requires more work on the part of the local agency. It is not just an off the shelf solution. But we prefered it hands down to the others for ease of use and customization.

    Jay

  8. #8
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    Thumbs up

    We have had APCO for a year and a half. All of the dispatchers we have now love the system. I have not heard one bad thing from any of them about it. They all have commented on the ease of reading the cards. They are pretty cut and dry for what you can do.

    The initial training can be difficult. It is 40hrs, but you can spread it over, I believe, 12 weeks. The continuing education has been easy to follow up on with the articles in the APCO journal.

    We have been able to tailor the cards to our specific emergencies. We have added several cards with no problem from APCO. The people at APCO are great to deal with when you have a question.

    It does take some time to take care of the QA/QI portion of the program. But you can make it as complicated or as simple as you like.
    You will need to designate one person to manage the program. It can be time consuming depending on the size of your agency.
    Hey You!!! Out of the gene pool!!!

  9. #9
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    Default EMD

    Both centers I work for use the MPDS (EMD) system and as far as I can tell, everyone likes it. The center I am a supervisor for used the PROQA (computer version) as well and it works exactly the same but makes it much simpler to go from card to card and also a lot easier for the QA department in reviewing calls. One big thing as already stated, is the flexibility and make sure you have a QA department or at least make steps shortly after beginning to get one in place. This can make a big difference in the quality and effectiveness of the system. I have personally attended two other classes with APCO also, Communications Training Officer, Telecommunications Instructor Course, and I am very pleased with APCO and their training.

    Thanks SRCFIRE
    LOOK BEYOND THE DARKNESS OF TODAY FOR THE LIGHT OF ANOTHER TOMORROW

  10. #10
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    Default EMD

    Adams County Pa has been using the cards now for awhile no we don't seem to have any big problems. We also have ProQA program for it, that we don't really like. Anyway, it is hard to not put your EMS training into it. We just would like a card for only pain. Sick person card doesn't cut it. Oh well.
    BOHICA!

  11. #11
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    Question Convincing the caller......

    My center uses MPDS, both cards and PRO QA computer. I've never used APCO. Once problem we often run into on critical calls is convincing the caller that help is actually being sent, while we're still asking questions/giving instructions. They scream: "why can't you just send somebody NOW!!!???" And we reply: "my partner is already sending help" or "help is already on the way", etc. And guess what..........they don't believe us! And some actually continue to insist that we're not sending anybody, until the responders come through the door.

    Do any of you have any suggestions on how to convincingly reassure callers that help is on the way, even while we're still asking questions, and trying to give instructions? I always thought I was a skilled call-taker, but I'm out of ideas.

  12. #12
    Forum Member MrJim911's Avatar
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    Usually the statements you posted work fine. But every once in a while we're going to get that crazy caller who just doesnt listen. Time for some verbal Judo. Redirect the conversation back to the victim... "Sir/Maam, The ambulance is on the way, in the mean time..." "Do you want to help the patient?" Or it might work better if you use the patients name if you have it or their title aka: son, daughter, father, mother, etc... That brings it closer to home in the callers mind if that's possible. There are many different ways you can re-direct the callers attention. But, if all else fails then you state a factual question for them.... This has worked for me every time... "Are you refusing to answer my questions in order to help the patient and responding ambulance?" Or simply ask "Are you refusing to cooperate with me?" If the answer is yes then you simply say OK and hang up. Liability is longer an issue because you obviously had a uncooperative caller who just admiited as much on the phone. We can only do so much.

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