Time for changes?

My deepest sympathy goes out to this family and the students at Mays High School:

STUDENT DIES - ALS RESONDERS CANCELLED EN ROUTE, NEVER RE-DISPATCHED AFTER BLS CREW ON SCENE MADE REQUEST

This, like other recent Atlanta and Fulton County dispatching errors only recently brings to light life endangering problems and "errors" that emergency providers in Metro-Atlanta have battled for years. It was not uncommon to be dispatched with misinformation at least ONCE in a shift, often several calls per day. These problems range from wrong addresses, incomplete addresses, mis-triaged calls, wrong responders sent (i.e. EMS sent for police only calls), not enough responders sent (as was this case), EMS being CONSTANTLY sent into unsafe or violent scenes without warning AND without police assistance.

Part of the solution Grady EMS offered was to take over dispatching their own ambulances when Fulton County determined EMS was requested or needed. And while that has notably reduced EMS response times in the City of Atlanta (where Grady EMS is contracted by Fulton County to respond) it still does not fix the problems within Fulton County and City of Atlanta 911 dispatch centers.

It is very sad to loose child because of someone else's poor choice or "error". Numerous times, it has been a situation of nearly loosing responders because we were often sent into unsafe scenes without warning and Police backup (i.e. gunman still at scene still firing), because call takers and/or dispatchers failed to pass along that information. Any EMT or Paramedic student will tell you that the first rule of EMS is *SCENE SAFETY*!!!

Fulton and City of Atlanta - Listen up! CHANGES MUST BE MADE! LIVES ARE BEING LOST! It's far less expense to cough up the money to update your 911 centers, purchase the GPS-Cell Phone Locating software, and re-train your employees... than to pay out millions of dollars in law suits and settlements. But hey, that's a conclusion they will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to a consulting firm full of Master's Degreed "professionals" to decide.

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