New Policy Regarding Emergency Medical Dispatch - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

New Policy Regarding Emergency Medical Dispatch

As I am sure you are aware, our EMD process has come under scrutiny. I want to assure each of you that while our EMD process may be under scrutiny, at no time has anybody ever suggested or questioned that you are not doing your job. Thank you for what you do each and every day and keep up the good work.

We must always be aware when relating to a medical call, that during a crisis, some callers cannot always clearly answer the EMD questions. This could be due to the caller being very distraught or caller first insisting that help has been dispatched. Call takers should be constantly aware of this emotional component that all of us as human beings experience in times of distress. There are times when, in the best interest of the patient and providing we have the information for basic call entry, we must abandon further questioning as may be outlined in the EMD process. Whenever taking a call, remember to reassure callers that you are getting them help and make it a particular point to let them know exactly when you have released the call to the dispatcher so the caller will know help is on the way.

When using the "opt out" option, switch to the CAD screen and enter the address and phone number with the most appropriate call type. You may then complete the triaging process, making any changes necessary providing the caller is not resistant to it. This same process of dispatching before all information is collected and letting the caller know help is on the way, should be also be done in cases of an obvious emergency such as severe shortness of breath, heart attack sounding chest pain or loss of consciousness not assumed to be alcohol intoxication.

In summary, our EMD remains a vital tool to dispatching and helping the caller, but when you are confronted with obstacles to answering questions or the caller advises what appears to be obvious problems, get the equipment on the street and update the call to the dispatcher afterwards. "When in doubt, send it out", then continue your follow-up. Most critical is to affirmatively let the caller know when the call has been sent for dispatch. Your supervisor will provide more specific information.

During the next few days and weeks, we will be reviewing all of our policies relating to EMD. This review will be conducted by ECC senior officers and senior fire department EMS officials with final approval from our Medical Director. I would like to emphasize that no corrective action will be taken against any call taker for sending a call to the dispatcher when they encounter a distraught caller who cannot promptly answer any or all of the EMD questions. Obviously, in all cases we must acquire the basic information relative to the call location and nature of the emergency. As always, if you feel you need additional training of any sort, please contact Lisa Fulton immediately.

RoxAnn Brown
Director - Chief

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