Wayne County, WV: Exceeding State EMD Mandates and Enhancing Patient Care

Agency Profile

Wayne County E911 (West Virginia) handles approximately 80,000 emergency calls per year and has a minimum staffing per shift of two call takers/dispatchers.

Wayne County uses Total Response emergency call handling software interfaced with their TriTech CAD.

Each Wayne County dispatcher holds Total Response certifications in Law Enforcement, Fire, and Emergency Medical Dispatch and performs in-house call assessment in two-week intervals.

Challenge

Wayne County E911 started looking for an Emergency Medical Dispatch protocol provider to comply with West Virginia’s pending state mandate. Agency leaders wanted a solution that allowed them to meet the state’s requirements while retaining their own unique identity and maintaining the flexibility to adapt to any incident.

Researching every option possible, Wayne County E911 attended a special presentation of Total Response and the leading competitors. They followed this up with site visits to neighboring agencies using each system and were impressed with the quality of Total Response’s operations in the field.

At the time, Wayne County did not have processes or protocols in place that allowed their call handlers to consistently position themselves during an EMD, Police, or Fire call.  They also did not offer pre-arrival instructions to their callers.

Also, because Wayne County E911 is a small agency in a rural community, finding access to high-quality training had been a significant challenge. There had concerns about finding the resources to train the entire department on a new system.

Solution

Training Supervisor Jami Drake became an early supporter of Total Response because of the program’s better flow and less generic application. She particularly liked how the call handling protocols transitions between primary and secondary questions providing prompts that help keep the Call Handler focused on each call’s details.

It was also crucial that the call-handling program was fully integrated with their TriTech CAD. Total Response open API, meaning any CAD or third-party system can develop an interface to the software. This approach is unique to the industry and makes it far easier to integrate with CADs.

Unlike other 911 call handling systems that insist on rigid adherence to generic protocols, Total Response provides the agencies with the tools needed to set their own standards and reliably measure effectiveness all while bringing the highest level of service to their community.

Wayne County E911 didn’t view the EMD mandate as a requirement to apply rigid protocols to their emergency medical calls; they viewed it as an opportunity to grow and chose a program that allowed them to be to define their own standards, all while enhancing victim and responder safety, better preserve evidence and mitigating risk for their agency.

Training Supervisor Jami Drake says that adding pre-arrival instructions to 911 calls has “helped the callers feel a little more empowered to help.” But, more than that, Total Response displays information within a logical framework offering call handlers the guidance needed to get the right response to the right caller based on their emergency.

What started as a simple evaluation of ways to comply with West Virginia’s EMD mandate, turned into an opportunity for positive change for their agency and community. Total Response boosted employee morale, increased community appreciation, brought world-class training into their PSAP, and ensured the citizins of Wayne County, West Virginia were getting the highest level of service possible.

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