Lately, I’ve been training as an EMD (Emergency Medical Dispatcher) through SUA. It involves “shadowing” a trainer, and answering the phones, using the radio, maintaining the dispatch console and computer (all under the watchful eye of a trainer or supervisor).
Being a dispatcher is a lot of work - fun work though. You’re basically in charge of all the vehicles and people on a day-to-day basis. Every vehicle or person on a crew needs to go through you. On an average day you’re responsible for:
- 2 ALS (Advanced Life Support) Ambulances
- 3 MTS (Medical Transport Service) Vans
- 1 Supervisor’s Fly Car (A Ford Expedition that can respond to calls)
Part of the job is MTS calls - basically, students needing to get to a doctor’s appointment or to and from class with an injury. This is pretty basic, but can get hectic if you underestimate how many calls you can receive.
The other part is emergency calls - the stereotypical “911 - where is your emergency” type stuff. Tonight, I answered and dispatched my first “solo” emergency call in which I did everything.
It was kind of scary but pretty cool at the same time. Apparently, I did everything really well and they were impressed with the way I handled myself - hmm, being under pressure, radio communications, task management, dealing with stressed out people - I kind of do that for a living and I’m also majoring in it!