News & Announcements

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.

Dispatch Change for Psychiatric/Violent/Suicide Calls

During the week of August 11, 2014, a dispatch of psychiatric/abnormal behavior and suicide attempt calls will change. Initial dispatch of these calls will be at the Priority 3 response recommendation. This means, for the first time ever, that responders will hear Priority 2 Alpha, Bravo and Delta dispatches. This signifies that responders need to stage, according to individual agency policy for such, until advised that the scene is secure. A couple additional caveats to be aware of:

  • Once the scene is secure, Communications will advise responding units. They will also upgrade the call to the response it would have been assigned initially had the scene been secure.
  • Keep in mind that, per policy, Priority 3 calls do not roll over into the Mutual Aid Plan. If you know your agency will not be able to respond to a Priority 3 dispatch, someone from your agency should request MA be activated. Once the call is upgraded (i.e., when the scene has been secured), the MA clock starts and the call will be processed using the usual MA timing.

Contact County EMS Coordinator Mike McEvoy with any questions or concerns.