Thursday, February 5, 2009

Priority Dispatch and You...

... we all know that in theory the priority dispatch system is a fine idea. Calls are assigned a number and hence a priority based on the information gathered by the 911 call-taker. Around here an E0 would be a call with immediate life threats, down to an E4 which would include lift assists etc.

Often a caller will utter certain keywords that move a relatively minor call all the way up the dispatch ladder into E- zero heaven.

Here are a couple recent examples:

Dispatched E0 for a 38 year old female in respiratory distress...
What we found- an active, agitated female with a "cold the past two days", who told the call taker she "stopped breathing" yesterday because the "air can't go through my nose"
... yes, we wanted to yell "Breathe through your mouth and blow your nose"- but we did not. 

Dispatched E0 for a 2 year old struck by a car...
What we found- a healthy, happy toddler being held by his frantic mum- the child, being carried by his mother, bumped his head on the open hatch of a parked car as mom squeezed past it and another parked car. The thump was apparently percussive enough that mom, now thoroughly upset, told 911 "Send someone to check my baby. Please hurry, he just got hit with the car"

To quote the old man on the corner, " Damn right the thing's broke boy- but it's the only one I got."

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