Montgomery County dispatchers receive new 'lifesaving' training

By Alison Wickline - Reporter

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. - Montgomery County dispatchers are using new training to enhance their calls and to make it easier for first responders.

It's called emergency medical dispatch, or EMD. It's a program that trains dispatchers to provide lifesaving emergency medical instructions and information before first responders arrive.

"I have full faith and confidence in this program to actually do what it says it can do and actually save lives," said Matt Hobson, executive director for New River Valley 911 Authority.

The New River Valley 911 Authority, which serves Montgomery County, started training its dispatchers last year. Now when contacting 911, callers are asked a more detailed series of questions to give dispatchers a better idea of how to handle the call and more information to give to first responders heading out to the emergency.

"We can actually dive deeper into assessing the condition of the patient which also can be relayed to the rescue squads," said Hobson. 

Since NRV 911 began the EMD program, dispatchers have taken more than 2,000 calls using the EMD protocols. Hobson said EMD does helps first responders. 

"It was great news. We've been waiting for it for years to get here, simply because it allows us to respond appropriately to calls," said Sid Bingley, deputy chief of Blacksburg Volunteer Rescue Squad.

Dispatchers also have the tools to talk 911 callers through CPR, bleeding control and child birthing. In Hobson's words, it's a "game changer and a lifesaver."

To learn more about emergency medical dispatch in Montgomery County, click here.
 

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