I work at a 911 center that dispatches for the entire county Fire, Police, and EMS be it a Federal, State, County, or local agency. On police dispatch if an officer asks for assistance units are volunteering to go before we even begin dispatching it… There is no question that help is going to be sent quickly and without a second thought.
But what about when EMS needs help? When a unit calling for “emergency assistance” with a violent patient in the back of the truck asks for help we question the supervisors if we are going “priority dispatch” the call or let the local PD dispatch it themselves. We make a phone call to ask the police department if there is a unit nearby or what they want us to do. When their dispatcher wasn’t exactly sure how far away it was we finally decided that it was probably best for us to just priority dispatch.
When an officer asks for help who has tools to help defend them self asks for help we don’t question it for a second. When an EMT or Paramedic who is in a jam with nothing but maybe a heavy object that we’ll get cremated for using in defense asks for help we question them. Why are you asking for police? Why do you need help? Are you still moving? Did you stop? Is this really an emergency? Do we need to make this a priority? Lets waste three more minutes making a phone call.. and when they have no answers we may as well do something about it.
Besides being an amazingly embarrassed and pissed off dispatcher I’m an AEMT that works in this county… God I hope I never need help fast.