Local

LA Fire Department To Streamline 911 Calls

View Comments
Fire Galleries

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles Fire Department is launching an overhaul of how they handle 911 calls, officials said Monday.

Officials say the Department’s current call-handling procedures contributed to delays in dispatching rescue crews to medical emergencies that are often life-threatening.

The new system – which is expected to debut in early 2015 – will replace what experts say are lengthy and confusing pre-written questions used by dispatchers to determine the nature of a reported emergency, according to LAFD Medical Director Dr. Mark Eckstein.

Eckstein told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO the revamped program is being created by department staff and will have fewer questions and allow more flexibility while dispatchers gather details from 911 callers.

“The problem is our dispatchers, which are all firefighters and paramedics who know the local EMS system extremely well, are not afforded any flexibility and have to ask a series of scripted questions before they dispatch resources,” Eckstein said.

RELATED: Family Says LAFD’s Slow Response Time Contributed To Death Of Boy, 16

Among several issues experts have raised over the current system setup includes a requirement for dispatchers to classify medical emergencies into one of hundreds of different categories, including over 30 different types of strokes, according to Eckstein.

In 2012, a Los Angeles Times investigation found dispatchers at the LAFD call center were below national standards that call for rescue units be alerted within one minute on 9 percent of 911 calls.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,675 other followers