New program to help 911 dispatchers improve service

Liz Beavers
Mineral Daily News-Tribune
Mineral County 911 Center

KEYSER - The Mineral County 911 Center is implementing a new system which will help dispatchers better recognize the type of emergency call they are handling and to therefore be better equipped to help the caller.

Mineral County administrator and Office of Emergency Services director Luke McKenzie says the Medical Priority Dispatch System will enable the 911 system to better serve the residents of Mineral County in emergency situations.

With this new system, emergency dispatchers will follow nationally recognized standards and research-

based protocols to identify life-threatening situations and to safely prioritize calls for response.

The protocols guide emergency dispatchers through a series of questions they ask callers in order to identify

the problems so they can send the correct help.

Emergency dispatchers will also use the questions to provide responders with accurate information so

they can more effectively give care once they’re on the scene.

Additionally, with the MPDS, emergency dispatchers can provide lifesaving and safety instructions to callers and patients before responders arrive.

For example, by using the MPDS, the emergency dispatcher can instruct a caller on performing CPR or delivering a baby.

McKenzie says it’s just a step further than what the dispatchers have already been doing.

“Mineral County has been using these protocols since the ’90s, but starting today we are now being guided through the process step by step on a consistently proven computer program,” he said. “This program will make our already phenomenal telecommunicator team even better and ensure that the citizens of Mineral County continue to get the

highest level of care possible from our 911 center.”

The Priority Dispatch SystemTM (PDSTM) includes ProQA® software and/or cardsets, a three-day

certification training course for emergency dispatchers, and continual quality improvement (QI)

benchmarks and training. All emergency dispatchers who work on the new system are certified by the

International Academies of Emergency Dispatch® (IAEDTM) and must recertify every two years,

complete 24 hours of continuing dispatch education (CDE) and pass all requirements for IAED

recertification.