The Stephens County 911 Center is pleased to announce that we will be transitioning to an EMD 911 Center as of January 4th. This is two days later than what was originally projected.
What does EMD stand for and what does it mean?
EMD stands for Emergency Medical Dispatch. This means that the 911 Communications Officers will now have the capability to provide medical instructions to you over the phone by using a scripted card set, approved by the local Medical Director. They will be able to give instructions for CPR, Choking, Childbirth, Bleeding Control, as well as help with medication administration. Each Communications Officer had to become certified as an Emergency Medical Dispatcher by taking a 32-hour course in Emergency Medical Dispatch procedures and they all also became CPR certified last year. They have been practicing with scenarios since August. Each dispatcher will have worked through at least 225 different scenarios to prepare for this new process. They will also be required to maintain continuing education hours each year as part of their certification.
What does this mean for you?
This will be a huge benefit for the citizens of Stephens County because it will cut down on the time it takes for medical intervention to take place, which is necessary in order for a successful outcome for things like choking and cardiac arrest (no heartbeat). If these measures are started within 2-3 minutes of the incident, then there is a greater chance of saving lives which is the ultimate goal.
What can you expect when you call?
The Communications Officer will be asking specific questions that are related to why you have called. If it is determined that the situation requires lifesaving intervention, the Communications Officer will talk you through specific instructions. You do not need to have medical experience, expertise, or knowledge in order to perform these tasks. The instructions are designed for those who have little to no knowledge or experience in the medical field.
It is important to remember that help will never be delayed while the Communications Officer is asking you the questions or giving you the instructions. EMS is dispatched on average within 1 minute from the time the call is answered. While you are being asked the questions, another Communications Officer is sending the ambulance.
I’ve never had to call 911 before. What should I expect?
Remaining calm and knowing your location/address are two of the most important things when calling 911. Always expect to be asked a lot of questions. That’s how we get a clear idea of what is going on. Also, asking questions never delays help. We send units within 1 minute (on average) from the time the call was answered. It’s okay if you don’t know all the answers to the questions we ask, but please try to answer as many as you can. The information we obtain from you is used to give to EMS while they are on their way. This helps the Communications Officer and the EMS crew make better decisions on how to respond to the call itself, or how much help may be needed.
If you have any questions about this new implementation, please contact the Stephens County 911 Center’s non-emergency number at 706-779-3911.
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