Medical dispatchers win award

County system gains national accreditation

April 20, 2008

The Harford County 911 center's dispatch system has been identified as an Emergency Medical Dispatch Center of Excellence, becoming the first center in Maryland to earn that distinction, according to the county Emergency Operations Center.

The center's 65 dispatchers use a computer system, called the Medical Priority Dispatch System, that allows them to go through a series of questions when any fire, medical or police-related calls come through 911.

By going through these questions, dispatchers can determine what type of emergency responders are needed and how many to send to the scene.

"It allows us to utilize public safety resources efficiently, so we are sending the appropriate help to an emergency, whether it's fire, medical or police," said Tami Wiggins, the center's training and quality assurance supervisor.

The system has scripted telephone instructions for CPR, childbirth assistance and hemorrhage control to assist callers before emergency crews arrive.

With the new distinction, Harford's emergency dispatch center became one of the 120 worldwide centers accredited by the National Academies of Emergency Dispatch, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, the EOC said

On Monday, County Executive David Craig presented a proclamation to the center, thanking them for their work.

The Harford County 911 Center will receive formal recognition during a national convention later this month in Baltimore.

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