Scott Freitag

Scott Freitag

Presidents Message

By Scott Freitag

People have been asking me why the Academy has two journals.

We have The Journal of Emergency Dispatch (The Journal) that publishes six times a year and the Annals of Emergency Dispatch & Response (AEDR) that publishes semiannually, at least for now.

The Journal has been in existence for 20 years, evolving from a newsletter to the current magazine format that debuted in 2007. The Academy introduced the AEDR at NAVIGATOR 2013. The third edition of the AEDR is attached flipside to this issue of The Journal.

The Journal is a blend of a popular magazine and a trade publication. As a trade journal, it targets our members and provides practical information, including industry news, trends, features, continuing dispatch education articles, and FAQs. As a popular magazine, it tries to entertain while promoting the IAED’s viewpoint.

The AEDR is a peer-reviewed scientific publication. It broadens the spectrum of EMS/dispatch scholarly research that you might read in other peer-reviewed journals. It also opens research into police and fire emergency dispatch, as well as emergency nurse telephone triage, which is unique to the AEDR. The manuscript peer-review processes are the major differences between The Journal and the AEDR.

“The Journal does some things really well that the AEDR can’t do, and vice versa,” said Greg Scott, AEDR’s deputy editor. “The AEDR won’t give you the people features, but it will give you the research that makes what these same people do possible.”

Prior to the AEDR, there wasn’t a publication to consistently provide IAED’s audience with the original research, case reports, editorials, perspectives, and concepts that are necessary to drive the science of dispatch.

So, you can say that the AEDR also strengthens the weakest link in public safety and public health dispatch. While the subject of emergency dispatch has received attention in many respected, peer-reviewed journals, there is more going on in the field of emergency dispatch research than print space in the past has allowed.

“We want to stimulate study in emergency dispatch,” said Christopher Olola, AEDR editor emeritus. “In addition to enhancing dispatch process and science, we want to motivate others in the profession to further research.”

The articles are written by, and addressed to, experts or aspirants in the profession, and they demonstrate the methods used by all scholarly publications.

A reviewer specializing in the same scholarly area as the author, evaluates each article submitted. Nothing goes in the AEDR without review, either by an external board of peer-reviewers and/or the Academy’s research staff, who are members of the AEDR editorial board.

Peer-reviewers check against accepted organizational standards—abstract, background, methods, discussion, results, and conclusion—and investigate the author’s major assumptions and conclusions. The works of other authors that are cited in the article to document each fact or opinion are listed in the bibliography.

“We examine the manuscripts for accuracy and assess the validity of the research methodology and procedures,” Olola said. “If appropriate, we suggest revisions. Some submissions we haven’t used.”

Reviewers are also impartial in their evaluation, Olola explained.

The author’s name and other identifying marks are removed from the article at the time of the review. In other words, the article succeeds or fails on its own merit, not the reputation of the expert writing the article.

There is no advertising in the AEDR since it’s not in the business of making money for the Academy, but rather focused on enhancing dispatch response protocols, science, and research.

And it’s open to more than data.

A new section focuses on case studies—the challenges inherent in certain calls and the lessons we learn from calltakers and dispatchers put in those situations. In this issue, one case study examines a true footling breech birth. The patient-caller was at home alone in an isolated rural area of Australia. The breech presentation was the calltaker’s first in six years of ambulance calltaking. The lessons apply to everyone in the profession.

So far, the reception to AEDR has been positive.

We are establishing a major step ahead in the science of emergency dispatch and response. This was confirmed in the following comment (among many others) Olola received:

“The enormous impulse beams our emergency dispatch spaceship into a new and fascinating galaxy. My heart is beating very fast looking forward to being part of this enormous step speeding the ongoing evolution and visualizing its future in my mind!!”

Does that answer your question?