Emergency Medical Dispatch
In Europe, calls received by the Emergency Medical System either results in:
- Automatic dispatch of an emergency ambulance requiring the call taker to give accurate identification of the location of the incident and to mobilise the emergency crew
- Selective dispatch depending on the perceived nature and urgency of the incident and the process of doing this is known as Emergency Medical Dispatch.
The functions of the Emergency Dispatch System are:
- Prioritisation by level of urgency (triage) to determine the speed of response
- Prioritisation by level of need to determine type of response
- Provision of pre-ambulance arrival instructions in first aid and scene management
Communication with those on the scene and in the receiving hospital.
Clinical experts across Europe believe that all calls to the Emergency Medical System in Europe should be transferred as soon as possible to a trained dispatcher able to make a layered response using an appropriate Emergency Dispatch System .
A computerised system which promotes the call taker, records responses, supports decision-making and provides information for audit and quality assurance is considered essential . There are various ways of operating emergency medical dispatch systems: the essential elements which have been identified are the use of a standard protocol, the need for medical supervision, audit of operations and the training of dispatchers  .