Police Priority Dispatch System™ Coming To Watauga County

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The Watauga County Communications Center is excited to announce the implementation of the Police Priority Dispatch System™to better serve the citizens of Watauga County in emergency situations. The system goes into effect beginning Monday February 8, 2016,

Dispatchers using the newly implemented protocol system:
• will follow nationally recognized standards
• give universal, consistent care and service to every caller
• gather critical emergency call information for responders
• identify life-threatening situations
• safely prioritize calls for appropriate and fast response
• provide “Zero Minute” Dispatch Life Support using Pre-Arrival and Post-Dispatch Instructions

Implementing the Police protocol enables dispatchers to accurately assess each emergency situation and send the best response possible while safeguarding valuable and limited emergency services resources and increasing safety for both citizens and responders. One key benefit the Watauga County Communications Center will now provide is a constant stream of crucial and updated scene information to field responders en route. This information will better prepare responders to give precise assistance when they arrive at the scene.

Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagaman said he is eager for the police protocol system to be implemented and to give his deputies those same advantages as the medical protocol system now provides. “One of the most important aspects, as it is with EMD and EFD, is that the 911 caller, speaking to the Telecommunicator, remain calm and listen closely to the questions”. “Many times, callers get frustrated with call takers because of the questions being asked, thinking help is not on the way. However, help is being sent, and the question responses are also being heard by others who are relaying vital information so units already being sent can have a clearer picture of what the emergency is.”

The Priority Dispatch System™ (PDS™) includes ProQA® software and card sets, a three-day certification training course for emergency dispatchers, and continual quality improvement (QI) benchmarks and training. All dispatchers who work on the new system are certified by the National Academies of Emergency Dispatch® (NAED™) and must re-certify every two years, completing 24 hours of continuing dispatch education (CDE) and passing all requirements for NAED re-certification.

Proactive quality improvement (QI) benchmarks are an important part of the newly implemented Priority Dispatch System. Use of the PDS allows communications centers to assess the quality of the care they are providing their communities, allowing them to make positive adjustments to training and staff in response to these assessments. The constantly evolving Priority Dispatch System (PDS) will help provide the highest standard of care to the community, allowing Emergency Police Dispatchers to better manage limited resources and increase the accuracy and efficiency of the dispatching process.

As this system of protocol implementation, training, and quality improvement is set into place, you can be confident that Watauga County Communications Center is earning the public’s trust with every call and is your best possible source of help during times of police emergency.

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