Journal Staff

Emergency Priority Dispatch System (EPDS)

The International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED) has released an updated version of its Fire Priority Dispatch System (FPDS).

Version 6.1 includes a critical component that can have a significant impact on future use of the FPDS. The key element of FPDS v6.1 is the addition of the new ECHO-level determinants on Case Entry for REPORTED BUILDING/STRUCTURE FIRE. These additions will allow agencies to send an earlier response for all structure fire incidents with a spontaneous report of smoke or flames while also allowing for differentiated responses and resource allocation for ECHO- and DELTA-level incidents.

The changes were 12 months in the making and based on Proposals for Change (PFCs) submitted by current users of the FPDS and reviewed by fire/rescue experts on the Academy’s Fire Council of Standards. Combining the PFCs with current research and field expertise, the Council of Standards, on behalf of the College of Fellows, determined which proposals would be accepted and the specifics of how they should be implemented.

“Users of the protocol have asked for a way to respond sooner to critical structure fire incidents, and now the Academy has answered,” said Gary Galasso, Chair of the Academy’s Fire Council of Standards and a Priority Dispatch System (PDS) Program Administrator—Fire and Medical.

Other changes were made to the Case Entry Protocol as well as Protocol 69: Structure Fire in order to accommodate the new ECHO determinants on Case Entry. For example, the former Case Entry Questions 4a and 4b have been consolidated into a new Case Entry Question 4a: “(REPORTED BUILDING/STRUCTURE FIRE) What type of building is involved?”

Definitions were also added to the Case Entry Additional Information in order to help EFDs select the correct building type. These new definitions include the following: HIGH LIFE HAZARD, HIGH RISE, COMMERCIAL/INDUSTRIAL Building, and NON-DWELLING Building/Structure.

“The Academy has been working with national and international fire standards with the release of FPDS v6.1 to reduce civilian and firefighter injuries and fatalities due to structure fires,” said Jay Dornseif, a PDS Program Administrator—Fire.

Dornseif added that if some agencies still request additional information prior to dispatch, the DELTA pathway is still available in FPDS v6.1.

It is critical that EFDs learn how to correctly use these new ECHO determinants. FPDS users are encouraged to review the v6.1 update guide and work within their agencies to ensure that this new version of the protocol is used safely and effectively. In doing so, they can assist the fire service in reducing fire fatalities and injuries to the public.

Ultimately, the International Academy of Emergency Fire Dispatch (IAEFD) is confident that FPDS v6.1 will have a positive impact for EFDs and fire/rescue responders.

ProQA Paramount software is the exclusive operational system for FPDS v6.1. The updates in this version help decrease calltaking times, increase accuracy and efficiency, and enhance the user experience. For more information about ProQA Paramount or FPDS v6.1, see the link below or email efdstandards@emergencydispatch.org.

For more information about ProQA Paramount or FPDS v6.1, go to www.prioritydispatch.net.