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PowerPhone White Paper: The PSAP and Emerging Infectious Diseases

Date: 2014-10-17
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The recent Ebola epidemic in West Africa and the isolated cases within the United States are a reminder of the concern for responder safety. There is an expectation that every first responder should regularly practice the standard or “universal” precautions before having patient contact. However, particularly concerning the Ebola Virus, the CDC has recommended that PSAPs take responsibility for screening callers for risk factors and notify responders of such before arrival on scene. This recommendation poses the question of whether further efforts should be made to mitigate the risk of exposure to new or emerging infectious diseases.

Call takers are the first line of defense in detecting situations that may pose harm to responders and the public. With the proper preparation and support, including training and call processing guides, this defense can be strengthened. 

The normal role of a call taker is to perform a high level risk assessment, initiate a response, and provide instruction to ensure scene safety. Scripted protocols provide the structure for the early detection of risk factors and guide the immediate intervention. This method of call processing has proven to significantly enhance response and has increased the measures for the preservation of life and public safety. However, previously the focus of call handling has been on the recognition of priority symptoms or factors that pose an immediate risk. Screening for the risk factors associated with the exposure to infectious diseases slightly shifts this focus.

With all of this in mind, PowerPhone has released a complimentary white paper entitled, The Role of the Call Handler in the Face of Ebola and Other Emerging and Deadly Infectious Diseases. This paper presents a fundamental summary of emerging infectious diseases and emergency response with a focus on empowering the call handler with information and understanding and, by so doing, protect responders.

The white paper’s learning points include:

  • Recognize the signs and symptoms of infectious disease
  • Identify risk factors and enhance early detection
  • Learn critical information to mitigate the risk of exposure to infectious diseases 

To download the white paper as a pdf file, click the download button below



For additional white papers relevant to public safety dispatch management, see our White Papers page

- Corporate News/ (via PowerPhone, 10/16/14)


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