News & Announcements

Field Pronouncements of Death Policy Issued

County EMS Coordinator has issued Policy 15-02, Field Pronouncements of Death in an effort to standardize this practice across services in the County. Multiple agencies contributed to this policy including the County Coroners, County Sheriff, State Police, numerous hospitals, DOH, REMO, the REMAC and the Saratoga County EMS Council. A copy of the policy is available on the Downloads tab above or by clicking here.

Radio Procedure Change

Effective 0800 on Monday, September 21, 2015, we will make a permissions modification to the 800 radio network to help EMS agencies comply with the use of an assigned TAC when responding and on scene of calls. Effective 9/21, the requirement to seek permission for use of TAC3 is lifted AND all EMS unit to unit transmissions are to be conducted on TAC3. Previously, many agencies (particularly larger services) used EMS2 for system status management (SSM) and other unit to unit transmissions – those are now transferred to TAC3. As TAC3 is and will remain the TAC assigned to all EMS calls, agencies using TAC3 for SSM will already be on the assigned TAC. The only exception to our assignment of TAC3 will be when adding EMS to a fire incident. In those cases, it will be necessary for responding EMS units to switch to the TAC assigned to that incident (based on the geographic location and radio traffic at the time of call). There are no other changes in the February 18th policy regarding EMS switching to their assigned TAC: all updates on EMS calls will be provided exclusively on the assigned TAC. After calling enroute on EMS1, all units should switch to the assigned TAC and remain on the TAC until leaving the scene. The only exception is needing to reach EMS Dispatch, in which case, it is necessary to return to EMS1 (i.e., arrival on scene, departing for a hospital, clearing a scene in service, etc). Any communications between EMS units on scene or responding and/or fire units on scene or responding should occur on the assigned TAC. If EMS Dispatch is looking for units responding or on scene, they will switch to the assigned TAC to make contact. Once enroute and while on scene, it is not necessary to monitor EMS1 unless your agency policy dictates otherwise.

Updating Unit Status

Effective June 1, 2015, all EMS agencies are asked to implement the IamResponding Vehicle Status Template for the purposes of posting their agency and unit status on the IaR system. Implementation of this template will be on a trial basis for 3 to 4 months to determine if it serves the needs of EMS agencies and Desk Officers in the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Communications Center better than the currently used “white board.” Please provide any feedback or comments to EMS Coordinator Mike McEvoy.

Dispatch Change

Effective February 18th, 2015, there will be a gradual roll out of some changes in EMS Radio dispatch processes. The major change will be the routine assignment of a TAC channel to all EMS calls, in the same fashion as Fire calls are assigned a TAC. To improve interoperability, all updates on EMS calls will be provided exclusively on the assigned TAC. This means that, after calling enroute on EMS1, all units should switch to their assigned TAC and remain on the TAC until leaving the scene. The only exception would be if they need to reach EMS Dispatch, in which case, it is necessary to return to EMS1 (i.e., arrival on scene, departing for a hospital, clearing a scene in service, etc). Any communications between EMS units on scene or responding and/or fire units on scene or responding should occur on the assigned TAC. If EMS Dispatch is looking for units responding or on scene, they will switch to the assigned TAC to make contact.

There are multiple reasons for the change, the major one being the continued lack of interoperability between fire and EMS. Currently, updates are being given to EMS on one channel and Fire on another. Both are asking Communications to relay messages rather than talking directly to the other. It is hoped that this will help to reduce redundant messages and get EMS and fire communicating with each other more directly (which is what the 800 system was designed to do). This will have a side benefit of allowing EMS first responders to contact their responding ambulance directly on the assigned TAC without being delayed by (or interrupting) other calls in progress on EMS1. Obviously, there will be bumps in the road as this rolls out. Contact EMS Coordinator Mike McEvoy with questions or concerns.