Emergency Medical Dispatch Support Officer (EMDSO)

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Other Vocational Titles
Call taker, Assistant Control Centre Officers, Emergency Medical Dispatch Call Taker

Definition
An emergency medical dispatch support officer (EMDSO) is an individual who has completed accredited training to receive and process requests for both emergency (via 000) and non-emergency ambulance attendance.

Education
Australia: Certificate III in Ambulance Communications (Call-taking)

If operating with a paramedic service provider that uses AMPDS® accreditation via the National Academies of Emergency Dispatch (NAED) is required in this telephone triage system. (Please note that not all paramedic service providers use the above product as their call triage tool)

Not all employers of EMDSO’s in Australia use the above qualification for entry.

Operation
EMDSOs are most often the first point of interaction between a patient and a paramedical service.  These staff are responsible for receiving calls for both emergency and non-emergency ambulance response from a variety of sources e.g. members of the public, health care professionals and residential care facilities.  The location of all calls for assistance is rapidly established and a structured process of triage undertaken to identify the urgency of ambulance response required.  Once this has been obtained and data entered, where relevant, the EMDSO will provide scripted first aid advice to the caller to commence patient management whilst the ambulance resource is responding.

The EMDSO is required to operate within the defined operating processes of the respective call taking system/software being used by the ambulance service.  EMDSO’s usually work under the in-direct supervision of a Communications Team Leader.  Some continuing accreditation requirements exist in relation to some of the proprietary call taking triage products.

An EMDSO is usually engaged by statutory ambulance services or multifunction emergency call centres.

Typically this role operates individually in a call centre environment with communication and IT infrastructure to support the required functions. This role requires a high level of verbal communication skills and ability to use and interpret medical terminology.

The EMDSO takes responsibility for the mentoring and support of student EMDSO’s.

Scope of Practice

  • Apply Advanced First Aid
  • Use of telephone communications, mapping and computer aided dispatch (CAD) technology to support the role
  • Use of telephone triage software including providing first aid advice and caller support
  • Use of an interpreter service to assist with the management of information from culturally and linguistically diverse callers