New emergency dispatch system brings positive results

In October 2017, the Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Office worked alongside Aurora Sheboygan Memorial Medical Center to implement the Medical Priority Dispatch System™ (MPDS®) in an effort to improve call-taking among its emergency dispatchers.

The MPDS utilizes a proven set of essential questions to determine the appropriate response emergency dispatchers should send to those in need. The system also guides the emergency dispatchers in providing step-by-step instructions for callers and victims while they wait for responders to arrive. These pre-arrival instructions are critical to victims’ safety and play a key role in rendering aid.

For Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Office, the MPDS recently helped save a life of a 47-year-old woman who was in full cardiac arrest. The woman’s boyfriend called 911, and a Sheboygan emergency dispatcher instructed the man how to perform CPR on his girlfriend. The efforts were successful, as the woman was released from the hospital with 100 percent cognitive ability intact.

The MPDS allows callers and other bystanders to intervene in serious medical situations, thanks to the guidance of highly trained emergency dispatchers. These research-based protocols help eliminate the helpless feeling callers could otherwise feel as they wait for paramedics to come on the scene of the incident.

“Dispatchers are no longer the conduit dispatching resources,” said Lt. Kristy De Blaey, communications manager with the Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Office. “They are the people providing the first level of emergency care through their medical instructions. The dispatchers are a vital link, directly involved in the life of the patient. They are making a difference in lives. I have witnessed not just the medical impact but the emotional impact of the instructions. When callers hear instructions from a 911 dispatcher, they are calmer and more focused in the crisis.”

The MPDS brings faster and more efficient medical care to people experiencing life-threatening emergencies. Instead of desperately waiting for paramedics to arrive on the scene, the help can begin from the moment someone makes that 911 call. The MPDS is developed by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch® (IAED™), a nonprofit organization based in Salt Lake City, Utah. The system was originally developed in 1979.

“At the Academy, our goal is to help the emergency dispatcher do his or her job better,” said Dr. Jeff Clawson, Chair, Rules Committee for the IAED Medical Council of Standards. “This increases safety and effectiveness for the first responders and creates better outcomes for callers.”

About the IAED

The IAED is the world’s foremost standard-setting and certification organization for emergency communications with over 64,000 members in 46 countries. More than 3,500 communication centers in 23 languages employ IAED’s protocols and training in medical, fire, and police dispatching.


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