Grady’s communications center is a secondary public service answering point (PSAP) receiving all emergency calls through the city of Atlanta. Once received, our EMD trained dispatcher uses the National Academies of Emergency Dispatch protocol system that evaluates the patient’s condition and assists in appropriate allocation of resources. Based on the Medical Priority Dispatch System, ProQA is the EMD software package that guides the call taker through the process of collecting vital information with medically approved protocols until the dispatched unit arrives on scene.

In order to meet the demands of our community, Grady 911 uses System Status Management (SSM) to strategically position ambulances within the response area, and to manage deployment and staffing patterns. In conjunction with SSM, we utilize a Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system with TriTech VisiNet Command software. Grady 911 offers structured academic and on-the-job training, requiring employees to maintain certifications in NAED EMD, CPR, and ETC (Emergency Telecommunication Course). An estimated 100,000 emergency calls per year are processed using two dispatchers, four call takers and one supervisor per shift on a 12-hour rotating shift. Due to the growth of the 911 Communications Center, we relocated to an upgraded facility in February 2011.

Our Race Toward ACE

Grady’s EMS Communications Center is working toward becoming an Accredited Center of Excellence (ACE) through the National Academies of Emergency Dispatch. Upon achieving this very high standard, we will be one of three agencies in the state of Georgia, and one of only 153 agencies in the world.

Nurse Advice Program

On Nov. 1, 2011, Grady EMS implemented the Nurse Advice Program. The Nurse Advice Program allows 911 callers who have been triaged by Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) as a low level Omega call to be transferred to a nurse, who can assist the caller by providing care. The primary goal of the Nurse Advice referral is to match non-life threatening EMS Omega calls to appropriate resources and expertise. The Nurse Advice nurse’s responsibilities include providing EMS callers with efficient medical resource and transportation options.

The Nurse Advice nurse triages calls, provides home care, sets up doctor’s appointments at Grady neighborhood clinics, and provides alternate services that do not require dispatch of an emergency ambulance. The service is a great asset to the citizens of Atlanta, who many times are calling 911 just to ask a medical question or determine if their situation requires an ambulance.

The Nurse Advice nurses have been Emergency Medical Dispatch certified, so they are familiar with the EMD procedure. Quality assurance is performed on all Nurse Advice calls. Both the EMD and the Nurse Advice nurses have been cross-trained, and their systems are well intergraded. The Nurse Advice program is staffed from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; two nurses are available during these hours.

New Training Lab

Grady’s EMS Communications Center uses a state-of-the-art training lab to perform hands-on training to new and current employees. The lab is equipped with the Tri Tech CAD system, Pro QA and phone system to simulate real life emergencies in real time.