|A message primarily to:||Operations members|
Tight Dispatch Cycle
Another key concept from the new radio Communications Manual
First, a brief recap
The main message from the last article in this series was that we want all on-air personnel to have a mental Common Operating Picture of how calls are being handled, and you can make this happen by doing the following:
ECCS (the 911 center) officially supports this, although it’s a big change for them too, and they’re still adjusting.
And now for something completely different: the Dispatch Cycle
The “dispatch cycle” begins when a call is initially dispatched, and ends when all assigned units have marked Enroute. The length of this cycle should be kept to a minimum. The more time that elapses, the longer on-air personnel are deprived of a Common Operating Picture, and the less efficient the system may become.
Unfortunately, we’ve developed a habit of tolerating the following pattern, which we’ll call a Loose Dispatch Cycle:
In this example, until 320 confirms that they’re responding, the dispatcher, the field supervisors, and others are all deprived of the following information:
In the 911 setting, this is inefficient, it can lead to poor customer service, and it can degrade patient care. And the long waits are inconsiderate to the dispatchers — they have many better things to do than keeping track of units that got dispatched two minutes ago and haven’t answered up.
Another big change
To fix the problems caused by a Loose Dispatch Cycle, we are adopting the following new definition and goal:
It is not necessary to wait for any of the following:
Instead, we would rather you mark Enroute (and say your location) the moment you take a step away from your seat or bed toward your vehicle.
We hope we’ll end up with a Tight Dispatch Cycle, like this:
Occasionally, the combination of a Tight Dispatch Cycle and a Common Operating Picture will allow the following to happen very quickly:
Fast, short, and sweet. If it were your family member unconscious on Sycamore Street, would you want the responding crew to keep the dispatch cycle Loose or Tight?
All members are encouraged to start using the Tight Dispatch Cycle right away.
The next article in this series will cover the concept of the Sterile Cockpit. You can read ahead about it here: