By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support local journalism.
Dawson 911 officers enhance life saving skills
911 Enhance pic
From left, Lanier Swafford, Debra Wimpy and Preston A. Ball. - photo by Photo/Submitted

Sometimes the voice answering a 911 call can mean the difference between life and death. 


Dawson County communication officers are prepared to save lives through Emergency Medical Dispatch or EMD protocols. 911 officers will soon embark on additional training due to advances in life saving techniques.


“EMD comprises established guidelines to dispatch the most appropriate and effective resources to any emergency saving time, improving road and travel safety and improving resource allocation,” said Preston A. Ball, medical director for Dawson County Emergency Services.


“When it comes to saving lives in an emergency, the 911 dispatcher is the crucial catalyst,” said Kyle Bradshaw, EMD instructor and COO of Emergency Resources, L.L.C.


“They handle calls within the crucial time period referred to as the ‘critical time for life,’” Bradshaw added.


“Even with a short response time by EMS crews, the actual wait time can be long because this doesn’t take into account how long the victim has actually been down, with or without people near them, before someone makes the call,” said Bradshaw. “The trained 911 operator can bridge this gap of time with the learned life saving skills of EMD.”


Established EMD protocols enable 911 dispatchers to dispense “pre-arrival instructions” over the phone for the caller to begin medical interventions before emergency personnel arrive.  According to Ball: “These instructions involve interventions for CPR and rescue breathing, clearing obstructed airways, hemorrhage control, seizure care and many other clinical scenarios.” 


“Many of these interventions are very time-critical and must be performed in the minutes before emergency services arrives on the scene to be effective,” he said.


“EMD protocols are flip cards containing questions to ask the caller as well as instructions for specific emergencies,” explained Communications Director Debra Wimpy. “My officers are able to open to the specific type of incident and provide step-by-step instructions to the callers until assistance arrives on the scene.” 


Dawson County 911 has utilized EMD for several years. All 911 dispatchers will undergo training on the latest procedures and resources.


Completion of the EMD training will enable 911 dispatchers to further improve service to the citizens of Dawson County.


“We have a great crew and each one has received certifications in Emergency Medical Dispatch, CPR and automated external defibrillator to provide this service to our citizens and visitors,” said Wimpy. 


“Having utilized the same EMD system for the past several years, it was time for an update,” said Dawson County Emergency Services Chief Lanier Swafford.


“Procedures and instructions change and to ensure accurate and timely instructions to our 911 callers this is a great advancement,” he added. “EMD does work and lives have been saved because of it being used by our 911 operators,” he said.