Fox 5 DC has a story regarding the department’s implementation of the Pulse Point App that has highlighted the call receipt to resource dispatch standard they are failing to meet, and the department’s subsequent decision to nerf the apps effectiveness.
The national Call Received to Resource Dispatch standard is sixty (60) seconds. Fox 5 DC‘s research showed that there was a delay of anywhere from two (2) to four (4) minutes in the dispatch time. This time gap, that was initially denied, was acknowledged with this statement from the report:
“When the new technology came in, there was a decision made by the department as well as the Office of Unified Communications that they would allow the information to go to Pulse Point as the dispatcher finalized the call with the caller,” said D.C. Fire and EMS Chief Gregory Dean.
DC FEMS has decided, in order to resolve the discrepancy, to place the Pulse Point App information sent out the same time the unit is dispatched. This could potentially delay the alerts from the Pulse Point App, effectively reducing its value of getting nearby responders to a scene of a cardiac arrest to begin CPR before the arriving responders.
The good news for DC FEMS is that if they are not meeting the standard of sixty seconds, they aren’t the only major metropolitan department to be doing so. It is a well known yet unspoken secret that FDNY EMS units often receive calls two-four minutes after the first responding FDNY fire engine. While this delay gets officially explained away as the intricacies of routing the 9-1-1 call to three different dispatch centers (NYPD, FDNY Fire, FDNY EMS) the unspoken truth is that this allows the fire engines more time to get to the scene first and therefore justify the cost of their additional response.
The bad news for DC FEMS is that unlike New York, who’s investigative reporters are more interested in helping the establishment persecute EMTs and Paramedics further grinding them into the ground with clickbait and salacious headlines, the Fox 5 DC investigative reporters are looking at the agency operations and whether the Office of Unified Communication is meeting that standard.
Since early 2011 when the first iteration of what would become the Pulse Point App rolled out, it has grown in both adoption and reach. The key to it’s success is the early notification and ability to get bystander help to the side of a cardiac arrest victim to begin CPR quickly. While it is also understandable that calls need to be confirmed, having worked in a call center myself I don’t understand how it would take an extra one (1) to three (3) minutes to do so regularly. There will always be exceptions, especially with language barriers, but the standard should be easily attainable for all properly staffed, trained, and equipped call centers.