Tuesday, January 31, 2012

First first responders

The blog took a back seat last week, as events prevented me from posting very much.  I attended a three-day course on emergency medical dispatching, along with our new dispatchers-in-training.  It was a multi-agency class, with dispatchers from Shenandoah, IA, Sarpy County, NE, and Pottawatomie County, IA also in attendance.  The instructor was Fred Hurdato, a retired Los Angeles Fire Department battalion chief.

The curriculum was from the National Academies of Emergency Dispatch.  I thought it was excellent training, and I learned a lot. I have a much better understanding of the role dispatch plays in the emergency medical response system.  The training was pretty intensive, and of course the classroom portion is just the beginning.

I have always appreciated the skills and talents of good dispatchers, who have saved my bacon on more than a few occasions.  I now know more about how those skills and talents help ensure the best possible outcomes in medical emergencies. Dispatchers, after all, are the first first responders.


West Virginia ex-pat said...

When my mom had a stroke, she was picked up by an ambulance to transport her to a hospital in the next county. Although it was only about a fifteen minute trip, an ambulance from the target city was sent to meet her so she could get a clot buster drug a few minutes earlier. In a couple of days she had completey recovered.

Did those few minutes make a difference?

I don't know for sure but I'm glad they did it. We don't know who to thank, but it was probably a dispatcher.

Anonymous said...

When listening to the scanner, I am always amazed at how professional and efficient the Lincoln 911 dispatchers are. It takes a very unique type of individual to handle that type of stress on an hourly basis they way they do. They truly do not receive the recognition they deserve. Thanks for being there for us, Dispatchers!

Anonymous said...

I am amazed at how polite they are, given the crazy situations (and clientele) they deal with.

Anonymous said...

Dispatchers are overworked with very little time off benefits. This is a stressful job and most dispatchers get mandated to work a lot of overtime hours. They cannot comp those hours. Most of them have very few hours of sick leave because they burn it instead of vacation or comp in order to get days off. It is rediculous how 911 is run. I would like to see how much overtime is spent on this department. I bet you could hire 2-3 full time employees for what is spent in OT.