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News Release    

July 6, 2005      

911 Upgrade Launched

Poughkeepsie. . . Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus and Dutchess County Emergency Response Coordinator DeWitt Sagendorph today announced the countywide implementation of the Priority Dispatching System. The Priority Dispatch System is a component of the Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) that recommends a priority level and type of medical response needed based on caller information provided during a “911” call.

EMD provides life saving instruction to non-medical callers from the initial 911 call until the arrival of emergency responders. “EMD offers a standardized consistent method to medical emergencies,” said County Executive Steinhaus. “Without it, patients in cardiac arrest, respiratory arrest, or severe bleeding may be overcome by their illness or injury before the emergency medical personnel are able to reach them,” he added. 

According to Coordinator Sagendorph, “The use of Priority Dispatch will greatly increase the safety of our medical personnel and citizenry by reducing the use of lights and sirens, as well as the number of resources sent out to the emergency, also decreasing the potential of emergency medical vehicle accidents.”

Since June 1, the Arlington Fire District (AFD) has been testing the Priority Dispatch System. Arlington was chosen to test the system because they already dispatch a paramedic on every call, insuring all patients receive the best care possible and then they provide feedback that is useful to the Emergency Response.  “It is now ready to begin countywide,” said John Kloepfer, Emergency Medical Services Director of the AFD. “We are quite encouraged by the success of the system and are excited about the full implementation throughout the county,” Kloepfer said.

Emergency Medical Dispatch with Priority Dispatch incorporates an international standard of care required for 911 Centers. It is the standard of the National Traffic Safety Board and the New York State Department of Health Bureau of Emergency Medical Services for 911 Centers. Ed Murray, President of the Dutchess County EMS Council and President of Northern Dutchess Paramedics stated, “It has always been our goal to ensure the health and safety of the EMS professional as well as the county citizenry. We congratulate Dutchess County Emergency Response in implementing these improvements and moving us closer to achieving that goal.”

“The installment of Priority Dispatch is another very important step to significantly improve the safety of the fire, police, and emergency medical services, as well as the citizens and visitors of our county,” County Executive Steinhaus concluded.  “It will go a long way in increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of our emergency response system, but importantly it will save lives.”


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Last Updated: 7/6/2005