By Wendy Wood
November 4, 2013
WILKESBORO — The Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office and Wilkes County Communications Center announced the implementation of the Medical, Fire, and Police Priority Dispatch System to better serve the citizens of Wilkes County in emergency situations.
Beginning Monday at 8 a.m., dispatchers using the newly implemented protocol system:
• will follow nationally recognized standards
• give universal, consistent care and service to every caller
• gather critical emergency call information for responders
• identify life-threatening situations
• safely prioritize calls for appropriate and fast response
• provide “Zero Minute” Dispatch Life Support using Pre-Arrival and Post-Dispatch Instructions
Implementing the Medical, Fire and Police protocols enables dispatchers to accurately assess each emergency situation and send the best response possible while safeguarding valuable and limited emergency services resources and increasing safety for both citizens and responders. One key benefit the Wilkes County Communications Center will now provide is a constant stream of crucial and updated scene information to field responders en route. This information will better prepare responders to give precise assistance when they arrive at the scene.
Wilkes County Sheriff Chris Shew said, “A significant benefit for citizens will be the instructions given, by the dispatcher, for providing potential lifesaving medical assistance until first responders arrive on scene.”
The Priority Dispatch System (PDS) includes ProQA software and/or card sets, a three-day certification training course for emergency dispatchers, and continual quality improvement (QI) benchmarks and training. All dispatchers who work on the new system are certified by the National Academies of Emergency Dispatch (NAED) and must recertify every two years, completing 24 hours of continuing dispatch education (CDE) and passing all requirements for NAED recertification.
Proactive quality improvement (QI) benchmarks are an important part of the newly implemented Priority Dispatch System. Use of the PDS allows communications centers to assess the quality of the care they are providing their communities, allowing them to make positive adjustments to training and staff in response to these assessments.
The constantly evolving Priority Dispatch System (PDS) will help provide the highest standard of care to the community, allowing Emergency Medical, Fire, and Police to better manage limited resources and increase the accuracy and efficiency of the dispatching process.
Shew also said, “The goal of implementing the Priority Dispatch System is, in essence, to insure the correct response, in the proper way, at the right time, and to provide appropriate care until trained personnel arrive, thereby saving lives.”