EMS Annual Report 2017 Home > Answering 911 Calls

Answering 911 Calls

The Communications Division is the first point of contact for all patients entering the EMS system. As first, first responders, our Communications Medics accurately triage calls, ensure the correct response is sent and begin patient care through Pre-Arrival Instructions (PAIs) before field responders arrive on scene. We take pride in our role as the voice of calm in what is often a chaotic and emotional situation for the citizens we serve.
The Emergency Communications Division of Austin-Travis County EMS (ATCEMS) is based out of the Combined Communications, Emergency & Communications Center (CTECC) in Austin, Texas. The Division has 54 full-time employees who are responsible for managing all in-coming 9-1-1 requests for EMS response in the City of Austin and Travis County jurisdictions. The Communications Division answered 146,456 emergency calls during the last fiscal year (FY2016-17).
Captain on phone at communications center
  • Obtained re-accreditation through the International Association of Emergency Dispatchers (IAED) maintaining the status of the 1st Accredited Center of Excellence (ACE) in Texas and the 39th in the world.
  • 5261 calls were reviewed by the Communications Performance Improvement Team in 2017.  315 of those calls were requested reviews or special calls resulting in a compliance rate of 99.49% and 3602 of those calls were reviewed for ACE compliance with an overall yearly compliance rating of 99.62%.
  • Provided over 1,100 contact hours to 2 Communications Academies consisting of 5 Telecom Interns, 2 Medic I Cadets, and 1 Medic II lateral transfer.

Our Communications Medics are EMTs and Paramedics, skilled in both their medical knowledge and technical capabilities. All Communications Medics obtain an Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD) certification through the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED). 
The Medical Priority Dispatch System (MPDS) is developed and maintained by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED).  MPDS is a protocol script that is used internationally to triage 9-1-1 requests for medical emergencies.  The proprietary system is used in over 3,000 9-1-1 centers around the world - with over 7 million EMS calls processed annually.  The MPD protocol ensures consistent questions to determine the appropriate response level for each incoming emergency request.  It addresses scene safety for our patients, bystanders and our responders. The protocol also contains scripted instructions for lifesaving interventions like CPR, the Heimlich maneuver and childbirth. MPDS is an essential tool for our day to day management of EMS incidents at ATCEMS. 
ATCEMS Emergency Communications is recognized as an Accredited Center of Excellence (ACE) by the IAED – which demonstrates our dedication to excellence in patient management. This Accreditation requires us to demonstrate mastery of the triage protocols through a robust quality assurance process that includes providing our staff with on-going improvement feedback. We review 5-6% of our calls to confirm protocol compliance and ensure excellent patient management. ATCEMS was the 1st agency in Texas and 34th in the world to earn this Accreditation. 
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