Although not formally part of the EMT course, my class was exceedingly lucky to have a quick tour of the 911 emergency dispatch center and the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), thanks to Scott DiGiralomo, Director, Department of Law and Public Safety/Emergency Management Coordinator. A mere 2 years old, the center is a technological marvel, reminiscent of any major Hollywood movie depicting high-tech command-and-control centers, from space flight operations to military war rooms. As my actual career has been in the high-tech and telecom industries for 25-plus years, I found the technical aspects quite fascinating, from real-time video feeds from around the county (including the helipad at Morristown Memorial Hospital, used by our county airborne paramedics), to GPS-enabled tracking of emergency services personnel and equipment.
Most interesting, however, was the look inside the Public Safety Access Point (PSAP), more commonly known as the 911 emergency dispatch center.
This is where 911 operators receive, triage and dispatch police, fire, EMS, Paramedic and other resources, as well as provide callers with critical and oftentimes life-saving directions while these resources are staging and responding to the scene, such as CPR instructions over the phone.
And for those that are curious, both Ashley and I passed our mid-term exam and practical tests (as you can tell by the look of happiness on her face).
Next week we'll be starting focus on emergency care for trauma-related injuries, including spinal immobilization, bleeding control, and splinting of fractured bones.
Of course, with every trauma injury comes the risk of associated medical issues, including shock, respiratory distress/arrest, and cardiac distress/arrest. So we need to keep in mind all that we've learned before.
Thanks to everyone who offered their well wishes and support as we go through this course.