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Measuring the Impact of Training on Emergency Medical Dispatcher Management of General Mental Crisis Calls and Suicide Calls

Jim Marshall, MADaniel Ashwood, PhDAngie Fox, and Jim Soukup

May 29, 2020 | AEDR 2020 Vol. 8 Issue 1Original Research

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When striving for excellence in equipping 9-1-1 professionals to manage calls involving mental crises and suicide risk, we begin by building upon science and clinical expertise. That's an essential foundation, but it's no guarantee the outcomes of the training and tools we deliver will truly make a difference for 911Pros at the console.
So, we joined with the global leader in the development of 9-1-1 protocols, the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED) to conduct an initial study to evaluate the effectiveness of EMHD. 

Below, we summarize the promising results of the first study, which was published in the Annals of Emergency Dispatch & Response, May 29, 2020. Please note that this is a small preliminary study and more research will be needed to corroborate the findings. 
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IAED researcher Daniel Ashwood partnered with Jim Marshall, and leaders of Allina Health Emergency Medical Services, Jim Soukup and Angie Fox, to answer three key questions:
  1. Could the three-day EMHD training and utilization of the LifeBridges Flex-Protocol and related resources boost the confidence of 9-1-1 professionals relating to callers with mental crises and suicide risk?
  2. Could this EMHD preparation decrease their anxiety as they serve these callers?
Figure 1: indicates that the answer is yes to both questions, with the greatest improvements related to dispatchers' work specifically with suicide callers.  
The third question of the study  was
if 9-1-1 professionals prepared with EMHD training and tools would perceive themselves as more effective with these caller in crisis compared to their efforts before such equipping.  

Figure 2: summarizes the findings. Those dispatchers in the study reported feeling significantly more effective in four key areas of work required for optimal call performance. 
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To read and download the full study, click here.
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