Emergency Medical Dispatch

Emergency Medical Care Impact
The purposes of Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) are numerous and impact many aspects of emergency medical care. Some of the areas affected are the:
  • Quality of patient care
  • Performance of pre-hospital Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers
  • Cost effective allocation of EMS equipment
  • Professionalism of individual dispatchers
  • Community’s EMS experience as stated in Dr. Clawson’s manual “Principles of Emergency Medical Dispatch,” 2nd edition
Receiving 911 Calls
The information provided to 911 from the questions asked determines the severity of the call and directs the proper response including the code the units will respond to and the type of units to respond.

It also provides valuable information to the responders for their protection and scene safety as well as protecting nearby citizens. It allows the responders to mentally prepare for the call before they arrive and alerts them to the type of equipment which may be required to aid their patient care. This information also alerts the call taker to the instructions which are needed to help sustain life or prevent further injury until EMS arrives.

Medical Protocols
EMD is organized interrogation of persons calling for medical assistance. This is done by using a 32-card file system of medical protocols. These protocols are approved by the local medical authority. The protocols include specific questions, response configurations, and instructions for each medical, traumatic, or life-threatening complaint in the system.

Post-Dispatch Instructions

The instructions provided are not ad-libbed. The call taker reads them from the card file system. The instructions include post-dispatch instructions which are specific warnings, advice, and treatments that can be relayed to the caller before EMS arrives.

Pre-Arrival Instructions
Pre-arrival instructions are medically approved and written instructions given to the caller by the trained EMDs. These instructions help to provide necessary assistance to the victim and control of the situation prior to arrival of EMS. They include:
  • Airway management and obstruction
  • Bleeding control
  • Childbirth
  • CPR
  • Treatment of shock
All instructions are read word for word to the caller to the fullest extent possible.