Barrow County Emergency Services has announced the implementation of the Medical Priority Dispatch System (MPDS), which officials said is designed to "enhance the response protocols of BCES personnel dispatched to medical emergencies," starting Dec. 1.

The new protocols will guide emergency communications officers in the county's E-911 center through a series of questions that they ask callers in order to better identify the problem so they may send the appropriate help, according to a news release. With the new system, communications officers will follow nationally-recognized standards and research-based protocols to identify life-threatening situations and to prioritize those calls for an immediate response.

Communications officers also use the questions to provide responders with accurate information so they can more effectively give care once they’re on the scene, officials said. The MPDS allows communications officers to provide lifesaving instructions to callers and patients before responders arrive. For example, the communications officer may instruct a caller on how to perform CPR or assist in delivering a baby.

“We are looking forward to this enhancing our emergency medical responses,” said BCES chief Alan Shuman. “We strive to offer the best service to our citizens and this will help us take a big step forward in our E-911 Center.”

The new software includes a three-day certification training course for communications officers and continual quality improvement training. All communications officers who work on the new system are certified by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED).

“At the IAED, our goal is to help the emergency dispatcher do his or her job better,” said Dr. Jeff Clawson, of IAED. “This system increases safety and effectiveness for the first responders and creates better outcomes for callers.”

“This system will allow us to help citizens determine things they can do to help themselves and others while waiting arrival of emergency responders,” Shuman added. “It also allows us to better determine the type of response needed, and increases the accuracy and efficiency of the dispatching process.”

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