Significance and Use
4.1 The emergency medical dispatcher should be a specially trained telecommunicator with specific emergency medical knowledge. These EMS personnel have traditionally performed this role without the benefits of dispatch specific medical training and medically sound protocols. Prompt, correct, and appropriate patient care can be enhanced with the use of a standardized approach to selection, training and performance assessment. This standard guide is intended for use by agencies, organizations and jurisdictions having the responsibility for providing the training, practice, and evaluation of emergency medical dispatchers.
1.1 This practice covers the training structure and primary function of emergency medical dispatchers. The primary function of the emergency medical dispatcher is the management of calls for emergency medical assistance as outlined in Practice and NAEMSP Position Paper on emergency medical dispatch. Training as an emergency medical technician, paramedic, nurse, physician, or basic telecommunicator does not prepare a person to function as an EMD. The emergency medical dispatching functions have become so specialized that only an individual with dispatch specific medical training can perform the required tasks. This practice will delineate the training structure for the essential role of emergency medical dispatcher.
1.2 This practice is intended to outline the basic areas of knowledge required for an EMD, and to standardize the expectations and training between the various educational settings that are available to deliver the EMD training. This practice is not intended to serve as a curriculum for a training agency. All curricula developed or selected shall include the key components outlined in this practice.
1.3 It is understood that each agency may possess special and unique needs related to the training of EMDs. However, those specialty training areas that lie outside the scope of this standard shall not be included in selected 24 h minimum curriculum delineated by this practice. Additional training as desired may be annexed but may not supplant the learning goals required by this practice.
1.4 The scope of this standard includes:
1.4.1 EMD instructor qualifications,
1.4.2 Student selection criteria for emergency medical dispatcher candidates,
1.4.3 Emergency medical dispatcher training curriculum guideline,
1.4.4 Guidelines for EMD course goals and minimum time allocations,
1.4.5 Testing and evaluation of the student utilizing the stated course goals as basis for certification or certification eligibility as an emergency medical dispatcher,
1.4.6 Recommended equipment, materials, and facilities for training,
1.4.7 Guidelines for training course administration and record maintenance, and
1.4.8 Guidelines for an optional EMD preceptorship.
1.5 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.