The Important Role of 911 Dispatchers


This week is National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. An important week for EMS, we honor the first first-responders who are often the lifeline for individuals having the worst day of their lives. And, we want to highlight the importance of their role in critical emergencies.

The EMTs and Paramedics who make up the Emergent Health Partners (EHP) Communications team are a dedicated group of individuals who have committed themselves to a job that can feel thankless and stressful but also rewarding. Dispatchers must calm hysterical 9-1-1 callers, provide lifesaving medical instructions, and dispatch ambulance and fire personnel to high-stakes calls. In the face of all of this, they must remain calm and collected to provide valuable information minute-by-minute to EMTs, Paramedics, and other first-responders.

Dispatchers who work within our communications center are required to be licensed as either an EMT or Paramedic as well as have certifications in Emergency Medical Dispatching and Emergency Fire Dispatching. New dispatchers train for eleven to fourteen months before becoming fully certified. This required training program is essential to ensure that the EHP communications center remains one of the top centers in Michigan.

There are several different roles within the dispatch center from the initial call-taker to communications supervisors. Our call-takers are who a 9-1-1 caller speaks to. These call-takers must quickly gather information, calm the caller, and process the information so the dispatchers can deploy assistance and update responding Paramedics. Once the call-taker inputs the 9-1-1 call into our Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system, the ambulance dispatcher only has seconds to send the responding Paramedics. This entire process is a well-choreographed event which aids Paramedics and Firefighters in responding as quickly as possible.

We are honored to recognize our communications staff not only this week but every day for their dedicated service to the community.

To learn more, watch this video>