CCATO News and Events

Posted on: March 23, 2017

EMS Mutual Aid Dispatch in Chester County

CAD

In August, 2016 the Chester County Department of Emergency Services implemented a new Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) System. This system stores pre-planned emergency response information and recommends EMS units for response to requests for assistance. Prior to the new CAD System, municipalities would adopt resolutions identifying the primary agency or agencies (EMS units) to respond to emergencies within their municipal borders. The designated primary EMS agencies would then specify secondary agencies to provide mutual aid services, should the primary agencies be unavailable.

With the implementation of the new Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system in Chester County, the Chester County EMS Council, Inc. has made the recommendation to the County 911 Center that all secondary EMS units be dispatched by the Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) System to ensure the next closest available EMS unit is being dispatched when the primary unit is not available. It is ultimately the decision of the municipality to decide which providers are servicing their municipalities but this has traditionally been limited to the primary response providers. The Chester County EMS Council, Inc. has advised service providers that want to deviate from this recommendation to have the individually impacted municipalities adopt a resolution detailing which service providers are to provide services within their municipal boundaries.

Municipalities asked by service providers to deviate from the standard set by the Chester County EMS Council, Inc. are encouraged to engage in dialogue with the applicable EMS agency who wishes to designate both primary and secondary EMS response agencies.  A municipality should have a clear understanding of why the EMS agency wishes to deviate from the recommended standard. Additionally, municipalities are encouraged to engage in discussion with their insurance carrier and their solicitor to ensure a municipality is not incurring any added liability by adopting a resolution designating secondary response agencies, perhaps contrary to the CAD/AVL system.

Questions regarding this policy recommendation or emergency dispatch procedures can be directed to Keith Johnson, President, Chester County EMS Council via email at kjohnson@malvernfireco.com.

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