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Why do the dispatchers ask so many questions on medical calls?

The ECC also implemented an Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) Program in December 2004. The EMD protocols allow dispatchers to provide valuable medical pre-arrival and dispatch life support instructions to callers while an ambulance is responding to the location. Every Communications Officer must maintain EMD certification, which includes an initial 24 hour class, followed by continuing education requirements for recertification every 2 years.

Additional certifications are maintained for the National Criminal Information Center and for Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation/Automatic External Defibrillator (CPR/AED); these require recertification every 2 years.

  • What's the address of the emergency? (Where are the paramedics needed?)
  • What's the telephone number you are calling from?
  • What's the problem tell me exactly what happened (to the patient).
  • Are you with the patient now?
  • How old is he/she (the patient?) (If you don't know, say so and then try and approximate the age.)
  • Is the patient conscious and breathing?

The dispatcher will provide you with some instructions for keeping the patient safe and comfortable until the paramedics arrive. Follow the instructions given to you by the dispatcher.