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7 Must-Have Essential Skills For Emergency Dispatchers

7 Must-Have Essential Skills For Emergency Dispatchers

Emergency dispatchers are an integral part of the 911 system – they are who the public turns to during some of their most distressing times. This rewarding career allows you to serve your community and help people in need.

Dispatchers are the bridge between the public and emergency services. While they often fly under the radar, it is the dispatcher community who deal with some of the toughest phone calls and situations, especially amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. There is a lot of responsibility resting on the shoulders of emergency dispatchers.

To become a dispatcher, you need skills that allow you to stay calm in stressful situations and communicate clearly with callers and law enforcement. In this BizTalk, our experts have listed 7 skills for 911 dispatchers and why they are important in 2021.

7 must have skills for Emergency Dispatchers:

1.     Technological skills

Today, most call and communication centres use computer programs to receive, record and manage calls. Emergency dispatchers need the technical skills to use computers, software, radios and recording equipment. Specifically, they should understand or take courses to learn computer-aided dispatch (CAD) systems, which automate some dispatch responsibilities so law enforcement can respond faster and have more organized case records. They should also be able to operate multi-line phone systems and emergency alert systems and enter case information into local and national databases.

2.     Directional skills

Dispatchers should be familiar with the jurisdiction they work in, including its major streets and highways, landmarks, buildings, waterways and boundaries. They need to determine where individuals are when receiving descriptions of their location because callers might not have a physical address or know where they are. Emergency dispatchers then need to give clear directions, addresses and instructions to first responders. They should also be able to quickly and easily read maps to find routes, locations and addresses.

3.     Compassion

A compassionate dispatcher helps to address the needs of each caller’s unique situation. Being able to deal with various types of situations willingly and compassionately requires a special type of person, and that’s what makes a great dispatcher different from others.

4.     Decision Making

Emergency dispatchers should have good judgment skills and the ability to make decisions quickly. They prioritize calls by the level of importance, so they need to recognize the difference between emergencies and non emergencies. Dispatchers also need to quickly evaluate situations and decide which emergency personnel to send to a scene. They should also use their judgment to decide what information from the caller is most important to communicate to responding officers.

5.     Multi-tasker

With an influx of calls during peak hours and holidays, a great dispatcher must know how to multitask between receiving a call, locating and dispatching the nearest emergency services. Knowing how to multitask is an essential skill that allows dispatchers to do their job effectively. 9-1-1 dispatchers work in highly demanding environments, and constantly have to be on high alert. But the work they do is invaluable! Dispatchers make a difference within their community and have a significant impact on those they help.

6.     Teamwork

Dispatchers should be able to work and collaborate with a variety of professionals, such as law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics and supervisors. They must work as a team to provide a fast and accurate emergency response. Dispatchers should develop supportive and professional relationships with their colleagues and team members so everyone can work effectively to resolve emergencies. They should also take instruction from supervisors, law enforcement and other dispatchers well.

7.     Emotional Control

Dispatchers often take calls from very emotional individuals. To calm callers in need so they can gather the necessary information to give responders, dispatchers have to stay composed and control their own emotions. Emotional control is also important when dispatchers are giving pre-arrival instructions during medical emergencies or explaining potentially life-saving procedures. A dispatcher who stays calm is also more likely to communicate clearly and make good decisions.

How To Become An Emergency Dispatcher In Canada?

Paramedic Academy of BizTech college offers one of the best certificate courses in emergency telecommunications in Canada which is only 10 weeks long and offers an assured internship with the Central Communication Ambulance Centre.  Moreover, the course comes with other highlights which are mentioned below:

  • Certification from the International Academics of Emergency Dispatch  
  • Emphasis on Clinical and Psychological Aspects of the Job  
  • Training by active Paramedics and Dispatch Experts  
  • Hands-on Training on PROQA – Emergency Dispatch Technology

Looking forward to a career in Emergency Telecommunications in Canada? Contact our admissions desk now and be job-ready in 10 weeks with our certificate course in Emergency Telecommunications which is designed under the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED) guidelines, this certificate will train students in advanced protocols for emergency call-taking.

6 Tips For Landing Your First Job As A Paramedic

6 Tips For Landing Your First Job As A Paramedic

In this blog, we will discuss the increasing demand in healthcare and how paramedic jobs are rapidly growing after the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Just like any other profession, adequate preparation is imperative.  Towards the end of your paramedic program, you will likely have the opportunity to complete a clinical placement, before finishing your training.

Apart from acquiring the essential technical and interpersonal skills, students need to make the most of clinical placement drives and land a good job. You’ve worked hard to graduate from an EMT or paramedic school in Canada and have been invited to interview for the job of your dreams. Here are six ways to ensure you’ll impress your potential Canadian employer and leave the interview with a smile on your face and, hopefully, with a job offer in hand.

Here is how you can land your first job as a paramedic:

1)   Background Research

Whether applying for a job with a fire department or a private ambulance service, study up on the agency to know such things as its history, management team, the target hazards, e.g. highways, railroad tracks, river in their response zone, receiving hospitals, the call volume and types of calls and in what areas the agency hopes to grow in the future. You can easily obtain this information from the annual report that most reputed agencies publish, which is often available on their website.

During your interview, try to fuse this information in your answers where it is appropriate and you will impress your potential employers with the depth of your preparedness and with your interest in them.

You can also schedule a few ride-along or station visits before your interview to meet the crew and get their perspective.

2)   Make an Impression  

Equally as valuable as doing your research work, making a good impression as a budding paramedic is what will set you apart from the crowd. Show your interviewer that you’re excited to be there and eager to learn.

Your willingness to help and go the extra mile will show an employer you’re dedicated and hardworking. Never underestimate the power of a smile, paired with the right attitude.  The personal impressions you make through this type of involvement are lasting. 

3)   Self and Body Confidence

Your interviewers must be able to envision you in the role to hire you. Therefore, walk into the interview room and demonstrate the same kind of confidence that you would display on a 911 call. Look everyone in the eye and address each one with a firm handshake. Regarding dress, wear a suit and tie for the interview, but also don’t be afraid to dress the same way you would on an ambulance for a skills test.

4)   Be prepared for common questions

Our experts have noticed that many interviewers ask the same basic questions when interviewing prospective paramedics. You’re often asked to start with a quick two-minute introduction about yourself and what goals you have for the future. Following this, be prepared to answer such questions as:

  • Why do you want to work here?
  • What have you done to prepare?
  • Why are you the best candidate?
  • What is your greatest strength? One of your weaknesses?
  • Describe a time when you handled a difficult situation?

Be prepared with your answers with real examples from your life to show your words in action. Remember to relate each answer to the specific agency and paramedic job for which you’re applying. Try to choose some stories that show other aspects of your life outside of fire and EMS, such as community service involvement, your family or being a member of a team.

Many employers especially value past work experiences which involved manual labour, challenging or austere work conditions or being part of a family business. If you grew up on a farm, led wilderness expeditions, worked in a restaurant kitchen or as a construction labourer make sure to relate the lessons you learned from those physically demanding jobs. If you are a military veteran, make sure to relate those experiences to the job.

  • Ask questions

When the interviewer asks you if you have any questions, don’t be afraid to pipe up. Find out what the agency’s hiring timeline is. How many people do they expect to hire? What type of person would their ideal candidate be?

When they tell you specifically what they’re looking for, succinctly restate and remind them of your strengths that address their needs and how you’d be the perfect candidate for the job. The key is to present yourself as a confident and knowledgeable candidate who would be a wonderful addition to their team.

  • Follow up

After the interview, send an email to the hiring manager and to everyone with whom you met on the interview board to thank them for their time and consideration. Close the email by restating your interest in the job and your qualifications. If you really want to set yourself apart from the competition, send a handwritten note to each member of the interview committee.

Technologies That Will Change The Future of EMS In Canada

Technologies That Will Change The Future of EMS In Canada

From driverless cars through medical drones to artificial intelligence (A.I.), advanced technologies are enhancing the field of emergency medical services or EMS. It’s helpful to have a better look at how those technologies are influencing emergency care in Canada and what lies ahead.

There are endless numbers of car crashes, home injuries, fires, natural disasters every minute, if not every second.  Treatment in such cases of medical emergencies has to be fast and efficient. High-risk patients chances of survival or proper recovery would decrease if not treated at the right time. When deprived of oxygen, permanent brain damage begins after only 4 minutes, while death can occur as soon as 4-6 minutes later. In this race against time, digital health technologies that turn patients into the point-of-care could prove to be game-changers for first responders, emergency units and paramedics in Canada and around the world. 

Our Paramedic Academy mentors have also collected in this article those trends and innovations that are putting the future of emergency medical services in Canada on the fast lane.

Artificial Intelligence: Logistics And Capacity Allocation

As A.I. impacts healthcare from drug discovery through helping in diagnoses to finding unusual associations, the technology is also finding a new home in the medical emergency department of Canada. Generally EMS or paramedic operations generate an immense amount of data from the 3000 daily cases and how their cars cover over 40 million kilometres per year, smart algorithms are the logical solution to mine this data for predictions.

In 2020, the software company Hexagon also introduced their A.I. solution for medical emergency services. Their HxGN OnCall Dispatch | Smart Advisor system mines and analyses operational data in real-time to detect patterns and identify major events as they happen. As anomalies are identified sooner, the insights allow paramedics to react and coordinate faster.

Apps To Streamline Errors In EMS

According to our analysis, up to 80% of clinical errors are due to miscommunication between medical staff and paramedics. In emergency care, such errors should be minimised as much as possible and new software programmes can help.

Pulsara is the developer of a HIPAA-compliant platform for EMS, ambulance and emergency management. Its connected mobile app allows paramedics to alert an emergency department before arrival with the patient and prepare beforehand. It does so not only by calculating the estimated time of arrival based on GPS but also by allowing users to share important details like the ECG or images from the field. Some studies even report an average decreased treatment time of nearly 30% when using Pulsara. 

In-flight medical emergencies are very real and digital health technologies are well-suited for those situations. The free airRx app contains the 23 most common medical emergency situations that guide physicians in-flight to assist travellers experiencing medical concerns. For the cabin crew, the recent MedAire Aviation App connects crew members to physicians for guided patient assessment.

New Age Portable Point-Of-Care Diagnostic Devices

New age pocket-sized, user-friendly and portable diagnostic devices makes it easier and faster to treat a patient on the spot. No matter whether it is ultrasound, ECG or laboratory testing, behemoth machines are things of the past. Nowadays, physicians can literally carry a department’s worth of diagnostic tools in their briefcase.

While some years ago ultrasound diagnosis was the privilege of radiologists, emergency medical specialists now have the opportunity to use bedside point-of-care ultrasound devices (PoCUS) to answer some yes-or-no questions such as intra-abdominal bleeding. Handheld ultrasound devices such as the Clarius and Philips Lumify allow doctors and first responders to easily assess a critically ill patient, no matter where they are.

Medical Drones

Drones have great potential in transporting drugs, vaccines or medical aid at a faster rate. In Rwanda, the medical drone company Zipline delivers medical supplies to hospitals via drones as part of the local healthcare system. This method enables healthcare facilities that Zipline serves to receive emergency blood packs within minutes, instead of hours. For the COVID-19 pandemic, Zipline expanded their service in the U.S. to deliver medical supplies and PPE, entirely contactless.

Another potential for drones in the emergency care setting is to deliver automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) directly to people who have just suffered a heart attack. This concept was already explored by researchers in the Netherlands and Canada. AED-carrying drones were also tested in Stockholm with promising results; they arrived at the patient within a quarter of the time that the ambulance took to arrive. 

Digital technologies not only help patients receive care more quickly and in a more efficient manner, but they can also support emergency care units to handle situations more safely and more confidently. With the widespread adoption of these tools, critical care patients can receive assistance in a timely manner that wasn’t possible before. And with the emergence of advanced technologies, emergency services will become more efficient and patient-focused in the near future.

How to Handle Stress as a Paramedic OR EMT?

How to Handle Stress as a Paramedic OR EMT?

Being a medical professional like a paramedic officer and EMT in 2021 has been more challenging due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The challenges and stress levels have raised exponentially for medical professionals in Canada and around the globe. Most likely every professional in the emergency services sector loves their job as they are in this profession to help and aid people but the job comes with baggage.

It’s rewarding to help people maintain their health. However, it’s not always easy. Depending on your role, you are likely to experience a certain level of stress. Paramedics and EMT workers often see critical cases where people either lose their lives or are close to them.

It is considered equally rewarding when your patients make it through to the other side and survive but on the other end, it is extremely heartbreaking when they die. To avoid burnout due to extreme stress and pain felt by the Paramedics and EMTs in the medical field, there are several ways to cope with it.

What Are Ways To Avoid Stress as a Paramedic?

Here are some methods Paramedics or EMTs can use to deal with their stress levels as someone working as a medical professional :

Keep Time For Yourself

The emergency services sector as a career can be both physically and emotionally taxing. Whether you’re a home health aid, doctor, EMT  or paramedic, you’re working with people who need and depend on you. The patients might also look to the medical professional for a level of emotional support and connection. They expect you to help them maintain their health, but part of staying well is maintaining emotional wellness.

This goes hand in hand for your patient and you as well. One thing you can do to make sure you stay well and mentally healthy is scheduling time for self-care. That means focusing on yourself and your needs when you are not working. Doing things that you enjoy and make you feel happy as your downtime is extremely crucial for your mental well-being. That’s why it’s important to get outside and be active. These are activities that help you stay grounded and better able to do your job well.

Keeping Your Professional And Private Life Separate

It’s easier said than done to keep your professional and private life separate as it’s a common human tendency of talking about your job with friends and loved ones. It’s not going to make you feel better if you keep doing that as you might obsess and stress yourself out about situations that you can’t control. You’re not at work, so you can’t do anything to help clients.

 Furthermore, you need to have boundaries about work. It’s great that you’re proud of what you do. That means you’re in the right line of work. However, you need to have space from your role, so you can enjoy yourself. You don’t need to be talking about your work as a paramedic when you’re on a date or at a family gathering for the entire time. You’re a person outside the healthcare world. When you’re not on the job-saving lives, focus on other things you enjoy and talk about those with friends, family, and loved ones.

Therapy is The Right Solution

A safe place you can talk about working in the healthcare profession is with a licensed therapist. Instead of talking about your work stressors when you’re out for coffee with a new love interest, save those for a therapy session. This should be a natural space where you can easily vent about your issues.

Therapy is a safe and comfortable environment where you can prioritize your mental health. A mental health professional wants to help you learn ways to confront and cope with your feelings.

It’s not easy working in a field where you’re helping people out of scary situations. You need to prioritize your mental health, and going to therapy is one way to do that.

Taking care of yourself

Paramedics and EMTs should at any cost avoid consuming drugs and alcohol as they can add to the stress. Eat a well-balanced diet, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly.

At Paramedic Academy, our instructors are active paramedics and bring years of on-job experience. Our paramedic training is designed to ensure students are prepared for on-job challenges. In our 60 weeks program, special focus is given to psychology and healthy communication, which enable students to handle stress during training and on-the-job.

How To Land A Job As 911 Dispatcher In Canada?

How To Land A Job As 911 Dispatcher In Canada?

There has been a paradigm shift in job requirements after the Covid-19 pandemic around the world. 911 Dispatcher jobs in Canada have increased rapidly due to the after-effects of the pandemic.

911 call takers and dispatchers, government emergency telecommunications service and emergency communications officers are highly in demand in 2021 and it is expected to grow further.

But it’s also true that working in the emergency services industry is not for everyone as it demands discipline, patience and confidence to able to make the right decisions under high-intensity situations.

Emergency telecommunications certificate course at Paramedic Academy of BizTech College will help students develop these skills, preparing them for successful and rewarding careers in a field dedicated to helping people in need.

What Does a 911 Dispatcher  Do?

A critical part of emergency services is that the first responders depend on 911 call takers for quick and accurate information.  Apart from the quick response, there are other roles that the emergency telecommunication experts or 911 dispatchers have to perform are listed below:

  • Receive incoming calls on the emergency 9-1-1 line and initiate the appropriate police, ambulance, or fire response.
  • Receive incoming calls on the non-emergency lines from the public.
  • Initiate the required response, connect the caller to the requested area, or supply the caller with the appropriate information.
  • Operate various computerized communication consoles and associated equipment to receive, assess, and relay information from the public to emergency personnel in a courteous, accurate, and expedient manner.
  • Receive calls via the internal emergency lines and take the appropriate action.
  • Dispatch and respond to requests from emergency service personnel.
  • Maintain radio contact with a varying number of officers.
  • Organize and prioritize numerous calls for emergency service.

What is the eligibility criteria for an Emergency Telecommunications Certificate in Canada?

The admission or eligibility criteria for the 911 dispatcher certificate in Canada are listed below:

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), or equivalent, or a mature applicant
  • English: Grade 12 C or U, or equivalent course

What are the job opportunities after an Emergency Telecommunication Certificate?

Jobs in the emergency services industry are on the rise and are expected to rise until 2024, which means qualified professionals are in demand. Positions like emergency dispatchers or crisis managers span across a variety of public and private sectors, including:

  • Fire
  • Ambulance
  • Security firms
  • Alarm response
  • Police
  • Logistics

How Much Does A 911 Dispatcher Make In Canada?

According to Job Bank Canada, the average range for Emergency Telecommunicators in Canada is $18.00/hour and $38.00/hour. Salaries in the field will vary depending on the position, but entry-level positions will typically start around $30,000 a year.

Which is the best course for Emergency Telecommunications in Canada?

Paramedic Academy of BizTech college offers one of the best certificate course in emergency telecommunications in Canada which is 10 weeks long and offers an assured internship with the Central Communication Ambulance Centre.  Moreover, the course comes with other highlights which are mentioned below:

  • Certification from the International Academics of Emergency Dispatch  
  • Emphasis on Clinical and Psychological Aspects of the Job  
  • Training by active Paramedics and Dispatch Experts  
  • Hands-on Training on PROQA – Emergency Dispatch Technology

Looking forward to a career in Emergency Telecommunications in Canada? Contact our admissions desk now and be job-ready in 10 weeks with our certificate course in Emergency Telecommunications which is designed under the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED) guidelines, this certificate will train students in advanced protocols for emergency call-taking.