Crewmember in Distress

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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For those of you with a button can dispatch see which unit you are when you push it?
yes; if your dispatch can't tell what unit (or more accurately, what radio) has activated the button, it's completely worthless, because all it would signify is one radio is in an immediate need of assistance. so if you have 10 units, or 20 people with radios, you have a 90% chance of being wrong.

there are other settings that you can implement (such as the mic immediately starts transmitting instead of sounding an alert, dispatch gets a message and can't continue until it's cleared, and other technical items), but in general, if you don't know who triggered the alert, it's less than useful
 
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IsraelEMS

IsraelEMS

Forum Crew Member
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yes; if your dispatch can't tell what unit (or more accurately, what radio) has activated the button, it's completely worthless, because all it would signify is one radio is in an immediate need of assistance. so if you have 10 units, or 20 people with radios, you have a 90% chance of being wrong.

there are other settings that you can implement (such as the mic immediately starts transmitting instead of sounding an alert, dispatch gets a message and can't continue until it's cleared, and other technical items), but in general, if you don't know who triggered the alert, it's less than useful
Its a personal radio? You take it out of the ambulance with you?

The only time we use such a thing is for large events. If we are not in the ambulance we usually talk to dispatch on our cellphones.
 

NomadicMedic

Pot or Kettle? Unsure.
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Yes. We all carry a portable radio with an emergency button. When you press it, it sends your radios identifier to the Dispatch console. The software knows what units are assigned to what calls, so they can tell where you are. Our system also has the radio microphone go live for 30 seconds, so the dispatcher can hear what’s going on. It also mutes all of the beeps and bloops on the radio so when you press the button it’s entirely silent. Not every radio system is set up like this, but it works pretty well when a patient suddenly becomes combative and decides to hold a crew at knifepoint.
 

Tigger

Dodges Pucks
Community Leader
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I have used the same code - MDA 1000 - (it's shorter to say in Hebrew than in English) to let my driver know a pt was trying to assult me. He was able to understand and pullover to help me right away. I didn't want to straight say I needed help since I didn't know if the pt had a propensity for violence or not and didn't want it to escalate.
Dog in the road is not pull over. It’s “I’m holding on, smash them brakes.” Hopefully the assailant (not a patient anymore) flys away from you giving you a chance to get out of there.
 

Jim37F

Forum Deputy Chief
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Each riding position has a radio (so it's a personal radio you carry with you when on duty outside the station or Engine, but it stays with the on duty crew, you dint take it home), and they all have the Emergency button.

Programmed to give like ~5 seconds priority call time (so you can get your Mayday out over any other radio traffic). Plus lights up a screen at Dispatch with which radio (i.e. E20 Pack C).
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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Its a personal radio? You take it out of the ambulance with you?
personal as it's assigned to you, or more accurately, to your vehicle, or even more accurately your unit. a better description might be a portable radio that you can carry with you, vs a mobile radio that is in the truck.

So if I'm in ambulance 4, there should be 2 radios assigned to the truck, typically 4a and 4b. if you are a larger system, that has more trucks than radios, each unit gets a radio from the supervisor at the beginning of the shift. so if you are in unit 3, which is riding in truck 5, you might get radios 123 and 345. at the beginning of the shift, the field supervisor sends a sheet with all the units and corresponding trucks, and each radio assigned to that particular unit.
The only time we use such a thing is for large events. If we are not in the ambulance we usually talk to dispatch on our cellphones.
so if you need urgent assistance, you need to call dispatch, wait for them to answer and hope you don't get your butt kicked while you are on hold? and if you need help, only that one dispatcher knows it, not any of the other ambulances in the area? and during a national event, when all cell phone lines are busy (think new years eve or a terrorist attack), then what? or if your cell phone battery dies because you spent all morning watching youtube videos?

I understand what works in one place might not work in others... but if i was first arriving to an explosion, and I needed to relay information to other units, I wouldn't want to have to go through dispatch via a cell phone. Different strokes for different folks I guess
 
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IsraelEMS

IsraelEMS

Forum Crew Member
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so if you need urgent assistance, you need to call dispatch, wait for them to answer and hope you don't get your butt kicked while you are on hold? and if you need help, only that one dispatcher knows it, not any of the other ambulances in the area? and during a national event, when all cell phone lines are busy (think new years eve or a terrorist attack), then what? or if your cell phone battery dies because you spent all morning watching youtube videos?

I understand what works in one place might not work in others... but if i was first arriving to an explosion, and I needed to relay information to other units, I wouldn't want to have to go through dispatch via a cell phone. Different strokes for different folks I guess
So to start with we have a totally different emergency system. There is not 1 number that you call for any emergency like 911. You call 100 for police, 101 for ambulance, 102 or fire and 103 for electrical (like downed wires and such). All the dispatchers can transfer you to each other if you call the wrong one by mistake and they all communicate as well (in fact every shift each dispatch has a person who's sole job is to coordinate with other services in the event that multiple services are needed, for example a fire with injuries or an assult that needs police and ambulance, etc.). Additionally each service has a non-emergency number and a whatsapp number for people with general inquiries. Culturally people here are pretty good about not calling emergency numbers for non-emergency issues.

This means that a) each dispatch is only dealing with their own service and b) each dispatch is staffed by field professionals from that service. Ambulance calls are answered by paramedics and ambulances are dispatched by people who also work in the field. It makes getting info from the callers and helping them much easier and it means we all "speak the same language". It also means that you almost never get put on hold when calling for an emergency. Additionally, we have direct numbers we (staff) can call to reach our dispatch if we can't go through the regular system for any reason.

Each region has their own dispatch and then there is a national dispatch. So if you are located in Jerusalem your call is sent the the Jerusalem dispatch center, Tel Aviva goes to Tel Aviv, etc. If for some reason all lines are busy there the call is automatically routed to the national center. In the extremely unlikely event that both are busy any region with an open line will get the call. All regions are in constant communication and can break through to the others as well. I have never heard of anyone waiting more than a minute to have a call answered even in a crisis or war.

Remember, our entire country is only slightly larger than the state of New Jersey (although we have a bigger population).

Since phones are used as a major form of communication most people are very good about being sure to keep the phone charged while on shift. We also have chargers in the ambulances that everyone uses. While in the ambulance most calls are on the radio but we do not use portable radios.

Other ambulances would not respond to a distress call since it is usually an issue of personal safety to the crew. Depending on where the situation is either the police or army respond. We have GPS in every ambulance and location ability on cell phones so the dispatch knows where we are.

In the event of a national emergency (terror attack) there is a clear protocol as to who is in charge and who is talking to the dispatch. The first emt on scene is in charge until he is relieved by the first paramedic on scene. He announces on the radio his name and that he is assuming command and then dispatch opens a cell call directly to him. There is then a strict use of radios for only very necessary radio traffic. That paramedic then "runs" the scene. He does NOT treat any pts but rather coordinates with dispatch (and through them the hospitals) and personnel on scene. As people show up to the scene they report to him and are given specific duties based on the event. This protocol is used for any multiple casualty event. So for example in an explosion the search area for pts needs to be bigger than say, a stabbing attack. In a MVC with several vehicles involved there is usually not such a big area that needs to be searched unless we suspect that someone was ejected.

We first perform a triage of every pt on scene and then start to treat and evacuate based on pt severity and need. The paramedic in charge is responsible for coordinating all this so the event is broken into sections. I would triage my section then tell him I have 2 critical, 2 severe and 3 mild injuries. He would then assign crews to me to start to treat and drivers to transport (telling each driver take a critical to x hospital or all 3 mild to y hospital). The drivers would then not need to communicate with dispatch. In order to avoid confusion other people do not speak to dispatch at this time unless absolutely necessary.

During such an event there is always at least one ambulance crew (usually designated before the shift) that does not go to the event so that they can be available for any other emergency call that comes in. They would communicate on the radio. Often general information will be relayed on the radio such as which routes the police have cordoned off for ambulances to have direct access to hospitals.

We also use our phones for things like giving....I can't remember the word in English...when you update the hospital about the status of a pt like in a heavy trauma or suspected CVA. Hospitals are not part of our radio system since we only communicate with them for this so either dispatch relays the call or we call the ER directly.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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So to start with we have a totally different emergency system. There is not 1 number that you call for any emergency like 911. You call 100 for police, 101 for ambulance, 102 or fire and 103 for electrical (like downed wires and such). All the dispatchers can transfer you to each other if you call the wrong one by mistake and they all communicate as well (in fact every shift each dispatch has a person who's sole job is to coordinate with other services in the event that multiple services are needed, for example a fire with injuries or an assult that needs police and ambulance, etc.). Additionally each service has a non-emergency number and a whatsapp number for people with general inquiries. Culturally people here are pretty good about not calling emergency numbers for non-emergency issues.

This means that a) each dispatch is only dealing with their own service and b) each dispatch is staffed by field professionals from that service. Ambulance calls are answered by paramedics and ambulances are dispatched by people who also work in the field. It makes getting info from the callers and helping them much easier and it means we all "speak the same language". It also means that you almost never get put on hold when calling for an emergency. Additionally, we have direct numbers we (staff) can call to reach our dispatch if we can't go through the regular system for any reason.

Each region has their own dispatch and then there is a national dispatch. So if you are located in Jerusalem your call is sent the the Jerusalem dispatch center, Tel Aviva goes to Tel Aviv, etc. If for some reason all lines are busy there the call is automatically routed to the national center. In the extremely unlikely event that both are busy any region with an open line will get the call. All regions are in constant communication and can break through to the others as well. I have never heard of anyone waiting more than a minute to have a call answered even in a crisis or war.

Remember, our entire country is only slightly larger than the state of New Jersey (although we have a bigger population).
that sounds a lot like NJ... every city/town has their own dispatch center, with EMS/Fire/PD/utilities having their own dispatch as well. The only different is we tell the public to call 911 for any emergency, and the dispatcher can forward to the appropriate agency if needed.
Since phones are used as a major form of communication most people are very good about being sure to keep the phone charged while on shift. We also have chargers in the ambulances that everyone uses. While in the ambulance most calls are on the radio but we do not use portable radios.
One of the biggest advantages of radios is the push to talk feature (think old school nextels). you talk, and the other person hears. no ringing, no waiting, it's a half duplex system, so you press the button, and they hear you. Most providers have the numbers of the dispatch centers, but operations are still conducted primarily over radios. Not saying one is wrong or right, just different.
Other ambulances would not respond to a distress call since it is usually an issue of personal safety to the crew. Depending on where the situation is either the police or army respond. We have GPS in every ambulance and location ability on cell phones so the dispatch knows where we are.
While I totally understand and agree, sometimes having additional EMS personnel can assist in getting the crew in need of assistance from their situation, especially if PD or the army have an extended response. Also, if they are injured, they will need additional EMS units to treat them, as well as treat their original patient.
We also use our phones for things like giving....I can't remember the word in English...when you update the hospital about the status of a pt like in a heavy trauma or suspected CVA. Hospitals are not part of our radio system since we only communicate with them for this so either dispatch relays the call or we call the ER directly.
sounds like a pre-alert, which is a heads up prior to the full patient report that occurring during transport. We tend to pre-alert via radio, but the full report is via phone (at least now a day; back in the day, everything was done over a radio, before cell phones became so prevalent)
 
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