New Protocol for Emergency Dispatchers, More Questioning for Som - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

New Protocol for Emergency Dispatchers, More Questioning for Some Callers

 PRINCESS ANNE, Md.- Dispatchers at the Somerset County Department of Emergency Services are now required to ask additional questions from callers during  certain medical emergencies.

The Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services System (MIEMSS) and the International Academy of Emergency Dispatch (IAED), provided the  Emerging Infectious Disease Surveillance Tool as part of a proactive approach toward protecting emergency responders.

If a person dials into the dispatch center for help, dispatchers like Kandy Dinterman are waiting patiently on the other end to provide it. Dinterman is one of two police and EMS dispatchers, on the dayside shift, who are required to learn more about a person's symptoms when reporting certain medical emergencies.

“If it's abdominal pain, difficulty breathing, chest pain or just a sick person [with a]  fever, we need to take it a little further with our questions," Dinterman said.

According to the screening tool sheet, bleeding, body aches and unusual sweats are included in symptoms to look out for.

Dinterman said questions about travel history and contact with someone experiencing flu-like symptoms are part of additional questioning. Emergency service officials said there will be no delays in dispatching an ambulance, since one dispatcher takes the call and the other dispatches responders.

In some cases, the same dispatcher will be communicating with the ambulance on the road.  

" I'm relaying it [the information] to the ambulance en route as they go to the call," Dinterman said.

Once first responders are notified about a potentially infectious situation, they are then required to suit up in their protective gear that is stored  inside the ambulance.
Adrien White, who lives in Princess Anne, does not have a problem with new protocol.

 "As long as I get some help when I need it, I won't mind answering more questions," White said, which appeared to be a general consensus for several people  traveling across town in Princess Anne today.

Officials stress the importance of cooperation when reporting an emergency to help the process run quickly and smoothly in Somerset County.


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