For years emergency communications centers (ECC) have seen rapid changes in technology for call taking, dispatch and first responders. No one could imagine that ECCs would be handling 911 calls from a telecommunicator’s home. A mentor of mine once said “technology and operations go together we cannot implement new technology without changing operations”. The new technology has resulted in a need to change call taking and dispatching methods.
One of the new changes within the ECC is expanding Criteria Based Dispatching (CBD). CBD was initially developed for emergency medical based calls and is now being expanded to fire and some police related calls. New technology has allowed agencies to improve response times, but agencies are now implementing CBD in order to allow call takers to get to the root cause even faster. Instead of a long set of required questions, call takers are now asking anywhere from two to five questions and sending the call in for immediate dispatch.
Winbourne Customer, Seminole County Fire Department located in Seminole County, Florida is one of the agencies that recently made the change to CBD. When asked why they implemented this change, Suzanne Ladd, Program Manager Emergency Communications responded “We have been doing criteria-based dispatching since our new CAD implementation in July 2019. With our new Pre-Alerting system, our goal is to get calls from answer to dispatcher in less than 60 seconds with either a single or two-unit response based on the initial information provided prior to caller interrogation. Once the call is dispatched and an incident nature is determined via ProQA, the designated response assignment will be added, while lifesaving instructions continues.”
Criteria based dispatching allows the call taker to focus on the here and now by obtaining basic information, getting the call dispatched and then refocusing their attention on the caller and obtaining the rest of the pertinent details.
For additional information on Criteria Based Dispatching or assistance in evaluating the benefits of Criteria Based Dispatching, contact Winbourne Consulting at firstname.lastname@example.org.