Yellow Ambulance handles medical transportation services in Owensboro-Daviess County, Kentucky. They currently process over 14,000 emergency medical calls a year.
Norm Byers, the current Dispatch Supervisor for Yellow Ambulance, remembered back to when he was working for Owensboro-Daviess County Central Dispatch, which handles calls for police and fire. At that time, the center was using a PowerPhone competitor. Byers attended a telecommunicator class with Kentucky’s Department of Criminal Justice Training (DOCJT), where he was first introduced to PowerPhone.
“I found the PowerPhone tablet that we used in training easier to follow, a better product, and the information easier to find,” Byers remembered. He went back to Central Dispatch and was soon hired as supervisor of Yellow Ambulance. “I showed them PowerPhone’s products right away, and we switched to PowerPhone,” Byers said.
Along with the right call handling tools, Yellow Ambulance was also looking for a national accreditation program. “We felt that as a dispatch center for a 911 EMS, becoming accredited was in the best interest of our community of around 100,000 people,” Byers said. “Our service averages 12,000 to 14,000 calls for help a year. With this magnitude, accreditation is a positive step for our company and for our community.”
Just in the past year, Yellow Ambulance has seamlessly transitioned to PowerPhone’s Total Response® tablet, training and quality assurance program, and they still can’t get over the ease of the product compared to what they had.
“The protocols we used before were just too busy; they had too much history,” Byers said. “If it was a chest pain call, their protocols talked more about what was causing it. The caller doesn’t care – they just know they need help. You had to search for the questions and pre-arrival instructions. PowerPhone’s protocols are simple, easy-to-follow and user-friendly.”
Byers also noted that dispatching is a stressful job already. As the supervisor, he wanted to make the job as easy as possible.
“You don’t want to talk to someone in distress and search for questions at the same time. PowerPhone’s tablet solution lays it all out for you.”
PowerPhone also helped Yellow Ambulance change the way they did quality assurance. “We used to just do it ourselves,” Byers said. “Now, we have an actual detailed process. And with it, you can discover where your biggest problems are and find out what each individual dispatcher’s problems are.”
In conjunction with their new commitment to quality assurance, Yellow Ambulance successfully achieved Total Response Accreditation in March.
“When seconds count, a dispatcher is a lifeline to the caller, and the additional knowledge and skills we’ve gained through the quality assurance process will enable us as dispatchers to better help those in need, as well as our responders,” Byers said.
They also found that after using protocols for so long that did not fit their needs, PowerPhone’s protocols could be customized to fit their agency. “PowerPhone was adamant that you could modify protocols,” Byers said. “So, if you get a call about a person having a heart attack in Wal-Mart, you still need to know where in Wal-Mart she is. We added that question – if it’s a landmark, find out where exactly.”
Finally, Yellow Ambulance had found the answer to their individualized call-handling needs and accreditation wishes. Making the switch to PowerPhone was easy, and they haven’t looked back since.