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Ky. 911 upgrade cuts 40 seconds off ambulance response times

CAD upgrade in Owensboro eliminates previous extra steps and sends call information directly to ambulance service



By James Mayse

OWENSBORO, Ky. — Recent upgrades to the city-county 911 dispatch center have resulted in reduced dispatch times for medical emergencies, 911 Director Paul Nave said.

The upgrade is part of the computer-aided dispatch system the center launched in 2021.

The newest upgrade, which came online about 60 days ago, allows the dispatch center to automatically send information about medical emergencies, including the address of the caller, to American Medical Response, Nave said.

Dispatchers transfer the information from the 911 center’s CAD system to AMR’s CAD system before the call is transferred to AMR’s dispatch center.

“Before (AMR) receives the call, the ambulance is en route,” Nave said Monday.

Previously, dispatch would receive a 911 call for an ambulance, then transfer the call, where the AMR dispatcher would have to take the information and dispatch the ambulance. The result was two dispatch centers taking the same information, Nave said.

With the CAD to CAD system, “we transfer the data, and the system picks the nearest ambulance” to send on the emergency, he said.

AMR still verifies the address with the caller, “but the ambulance is already rolling,” Nave said.

The new technology cuts an average of 40 seconds off response times on medical runs, Nave said.

The upgrade “made a significant difference for everyone,” he said.

Nave said the system will only further improve response times as the technology advances.

“We are anticipating pacemakers calling 911 and giving locations” of people needing help, Nave said. Vehicles will also call 911 with information about collisions, such as locations and if airbags were deployed.

The 911 center received $750,00 from the city and county for the CAD system in 2019. Nave said the investment has resulted in improved response time and better information for responders.

“Everything we do is for someone who actually needs help,” Nave said.

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