The Dallas Fire-Rescue (DFR) Department is excited to announce the implementation of the Medical Priority Dispatch System, better known as Priority Dispatch, to better serve the citizens of Dallas in emergency medical situations.
The new system, which was approved by City Council earlier this year, follows nationally recognized standards that provide identification of life-threatening situations, determination of critical emergency call information for responder's, and call prioritization to send the right resource to the highest medical need request, thus affording consistent care and service to every emergency medical request received.
The system, which is scheduled to be implemented toward the middle of November, has another significant benefit: a proactive quality improvement program that will serve as an important component towards DFR’s continued assessment, adjustment, and improvements in EMS delivery.
"The system will allow DFR to send the most appropriate EMS resource to handle high-priority calls, while still managing the overall ambulance resource needs throughout the City; ensuring effective response times to the highest priority calls", said DFR Assistant Chief of the EMS and Communications Bureau, Daniel Salazar, when asked how the new system will best benefit callers. "It has been proven effective in other jurisdictions, and we look forward to its implementation," he added.
The department plans to evaluate how the system responds and works with the current DFR response model over the next three to four months. David Coatney, Chief of the Dallas Fire-Rescue Department, said that “assuming the system works as anticipated, there will be changes made in the way EMS service delivery is provided across the City, primarily in call prioritization and what type of resource (EMS unit, Fire unit, or further processing) each call receives”.
As the system is implemented, it is important that the citizens of Dallas understand that the new system will not impact how quickly a response is sent to high priority EMS calls; but instead, other types of calls (non-urgent) will require more vetting to determine which type of EMS resource should be dispatched. Dallas Fire-Rescue will continue to put Service First as the system is implemented and fully expects that it will help in the daily management of an ever increasing call volume.