MESSAGE FROM THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
So far, it’s been a year like no other—and that has been especially true for emergency dispatch agencies and the responders for which they dispatch. While the COVID-19 outbreak is far from over, it appears that emergency services and public safety agencies have adjusted to our new normal quite effectively—albeit still with much uncertainty about the future. In coming issues, we expect to publish more on the pandemic as new research is completed and more cases of interest become available. However, for now, we are temporarily setting aside the pandemic to bring you a few studies that focus on other important aspects of the emergency calltaking process, specifically studies on three of the four protocol systems developed and maintained by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch® (IAED™).
As is the case with all three Priority Dispatch® systems, the ECHO priority level constitutes only a small fraction of cases in the Fire Priority Dispatch System™ (about 2.5%), but a much larger percentage of structure fire cases (about 27%). Researchers were able to examine these ECHO structure fire calls and determine if ECHO was predictive of a working structure fire.
In another study, researchers looked at the Falls Chief Complaint lift-assist coding in the Medical Priority Dispatch System™ (MPDS®), to see if repeat calls for a lift-assist had any common factors that could tell us more about these patients.
In the growing field of telephone nurse triage, a research group examined how one particular Chief Complaint is being used, if not overused, by Emergency Communication Nurses (ECNs) and how this may be an important topic on which to focus future training.
Finally, we spotlight another long-time emergency medical dispatch professional who has recently turned his focus to research and made a big difference with his first published study.
We hope this issue is not only informative, but also motivates you to ask questions, then seek to answer those questions through high-quality research.