Journal Staff


By Journal Staff

After seven years of dedicated and determined call processing, Shane Elliot finally made it to the front of the line.

Not that the No. 1 spot was the EMD’s sole objective at the Niagara Emergency Medical Services communications center in Ontario, Canada, but the ability to take first place surely has its benefits.

“It’s bragging rights,” said Dayman Perry, operations commander. “Although there’s a lot of good-natured ribbing about who gets the award, this is something they take very seriously.”

The “seriously” is more about their job, than the award, although the two are certainly related.

The center has used the Medical Priority Dispatch System (MPDS) Protocol since beginning operations seven years ago and is looking to its third medical ACE recertification. The center was initially certified in 2006.

The 25 full-time and 5 part-time systems status controllers have never been without their EMD certifications, and each year for the past seven, they have competed for the honor to be among the top five EMDs chosen for the annual Priority Dispatch Award for Excellence in Compliance. The award recognizes high compliance—scores greater than 99%—and figures in the individual results of at least 48 randomly selected calls audited by the in-house ED-Qs.

This is Elliot’s sixth year making it to the top five, but his first year at the No. 1 spot. Matt Rate, who took top place in 2010, came in second, followed by Rick Morency (first in 2011), Kelly Newell, and Julie Noble. The leading EMD receives a trophy and a gold pin, while the four others receive a bronze pin. They also receive letters of commendation and certificates. Three additional EMDs scoring greater than 99%, but slightly below the winning scores, received honorable mentions.

Perry said the award isn’t just about individual achievement, but it does further motivate his already “highly dedicated” staff and reinforces the center’s ongoing commitment of excellence to the public.

“One hope is to set the example and for some, it is a goal,” he said. “But they’re all hard working. They’re all dedicated to giving excellent service.”

The Niagara EMS communications center receives more than 70,000 calls a year that result in the transportation of about 38,000 patients.