Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD)

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Other Vocational Titles
Ambulance Coordinator, Ambulance Controller, Control Centre Officers

Definition
An emergency medical dispatcher (EMD) is an individual who has completed accredited training to triage and coordinate the timely deployment of requests for both emergency and non-emergency ambulance attendance.

Education
Australia: Certificate IV in Ambulance Communications (Dispatch)

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

Operation
EMDs are responsible for the coordination of service provider resources within a defined geographic area in order to respond to requests for both emergency and non-emergency ambulance in a timely manner.  EMD’s have the crucial responsibility for ensuring that the right paramedical resource is sent to the right patient at the right time.

EMD’s will commonly liaise with counterparts in emergency services in relation to attendance requirements.

The EMD is required to operate within the defined processes and business rules being used by the respective ambulance service.  EMD’s often work with significant autonomy whilst under the indirect supervision of a communications team leader.

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

Typically this role operates individually in a booth with communication and IT infrastructure to support the required functions.

The EMD takes responsibility for the mentoring and support of student EMD’s and provides feedback and support to EMDSO’s.

Scope of Practice

  • Includes EMDSO Scope Of Practice
  • Use of radio and data communications to support role
  • Use of computer aided dispatch (CAD) and automatic vehicle location (AVL) systems