Dauphin County Emergency Communications Center (ECC) utilizes the world-wide recognized call interrogation tool known as the Priority Dispatch System. This system, created by the National Academy of Emergency Dispatch (NAED) and partnered with Priority Dispatch, allows properly trained and certified telecommunicators to provide the same high standard of service through questions and answers, potentially life-saving instructions, and response recommendations, regardless of when the call is received or which telecommunicator receives it.
The three Priority Dispatch Protocols in use at Dauphin County 9-1-1 are: Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD), Emergency Fire Dispatch (EFD) and Emergency Police Dispatch (EPD). While each Dispatch Protocol is specific to its own nature, they all share the same five basic steps of call processing:
- Case Entry: The telecommunicator obtains the location of the incident, a call back number and name, determines the nature of the incident and addresses life-threatening situations.
- Key Questions: Questions the telecommunicator asks that are specific to the reported nature of the incident. Most questions are designed to elicit a yes or no answer and are written in plain-English.
- Response Recommendations: A series of recommended response modes based on the information received from the Key Questions asked. Response modes include emergency (lights and sirens), non-emergency (no lights and sirens) and type of assistance needed.
- Post Dispatch Instructions: Basic instructions given to the caller or the victim to prepare for the arrival of emergency personnel.
- Pre-Arrival Instructions/Critical Caller Information: Potential life-saving instructions provided to callers/victims who are faced with life or death situations. Such instructions include (but are not limited to): CPR, abdominal thrusts (Heimlich Maneuver), child birth, trapped in a structure fire, trapped in a sinking vehicle, water/ice rescue situations, person on fire, hostage situations, and bomb/suspicious package found.
The National Academy of Emergency Dispatch recognizes Centers who routinely display strict discipline and Protocol compliance by awarding the Accredited Center of Excellence (ACE). Achieving an ACE recognition demonstrates the commitment of the telecommunicators to providing the best possible level of care at all times. The application process to become an ACE is a long and precise task. Months of statistical data, research, documentation, and planning are required. After the application is complete, a National Academy auditor reviews the application, checks Protocol Compliance against randomly selected events, and provides a recommendation to the Board of Accreditation. At that time, if the Center fulfills the "Twenty Points" of Accreditation, they are awarded the distinguishing honor of being an ACE.
In early 2000, Dauphin County ECC became the 36th Communications Center in the world to obtain the ACE recognition in the use of the National Academy's Medical Priority Dispatch Protocol. Every three years since then, this recognition was continued with a re-certification of the ACE. Then, in April of 2004, Dauphin County ECC was formally recognized as the 1st Communications Center in the world to achieve the ACE in the use of the National Academy's Fire Priority Dispatch Protocol. Being the first Fire ACE is truly a prestigious honor. Every three years since 2004, Dauphin County has re-accredited as a Fire ACE.
Dauphin County's telecommunicators take pride in providing a high level of service to the community and visitors to Dauphin County.