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COLE COUNTY – Cole County Emergency Medical Services is implementing a new Medical Priority Dispatch System (MPDS) to speed up service and prioritize emergency situations.

Kevin Wieberg, Cole County EMS Clinical Supervisor, said the new system is one that neighboring counties like Boone and Callaway already use, and helps improve the entire emergency service process.

“It’s a service that is fully protocol based, which allows us to interview the caller step-by-step with internationally recognized protocols,” Wieberg said. “This takes the second guessing out and adds consistency in the way we handle callers.”

Dispatchers using the new protocol system will give universal service to every caller, gather emergency call information for responders, identify life-threatening situations and safely prioritize calls for fast response.

“What we’re wanting to accomplish is consistency, as well as the best service possible for the people of Cole County,” Wieberg said. “This adds a huge layer into how we can help people before we actually have resources on the scene.”

Cole County Commissioner Sam Bushman said the system unites other branches of emergency service, like local police departments, and elevates the standard of care for Cole County.

“This is a big step in making our EMS System one of the best in the state of Missouri,” Bushman said.

Paramedics and EMT’s no longer have to be at the center to answer calls, but can stay out in the field to improve response times.

“This change frees up our paramedics and EMT’s, while adding more structure and protocol so that every dispatcher is handling everyone the same,” Wieberg said. “People can now expect the same questions depending on what they’re calling on.”

Doctors, paramedics and different clinicians created the protocol to provide the most efficient set of questions.

“The protocols go through a pretty rigorous process as far as what to approve and what to exclude from the protocols, so everything in here is based upon over the phone care, rather than hands on care,” Wieberg said.

The new system provides a constant stream of scene information to responders on their way to the scene. This speeds up the process so when responders arrive on scene they already have an idea of what to do.

Dispatchers started training in the fall of 2016, with many test cases and on the job situations. The service went into place 8 a.m. Monday.