News

EMS & Medical Control: Improving Pre-Hospital Communication and Care

August 12, 2014

Instructor: "Rosterfield Central to MEDIC 1, respond to Sherry Hotel and Tower. Possible gunshots fired. Law Enforcement is on scene, stage upon arrival."

Student: "MEDIC 1 to Rosterfield Central, we are on scene and will update you with a patient count as soon as possible."

Instructor: "Rosterfield to MEDIC 1, copy."

Student: "MEDIC 1 to Rosterfield, we have 3 red patients and 2 yellow, we are beginning to transport."

Instructor: "Rosterfield to MEDIC 1, copy traffic. Go direct on channel 9 to Mercy Hospital Regional Trauma Center for medical control."


Above is a small snippet of the radio traffic that a student may hear during a delivery of a scenario-based course at the State Preparedness Training Center (SPTC). During a scenario-based activity, medical control is simulated by an instructor who is actually an emergency room physician.

The SimCell's medical control function increases the realism and value of scenario-based training. It incorporates the additional communication network between first responders and first receivers in the emergency departments of hospitals. During MCIs and other incidents involving critical injuries, surges of patients and short time periods, collaboration with pre-hospital responders and hospital emergency departments is critical. This passage of information enables hospitals to generate medical intelligence, allowing them to better prepare to receive incoming patients and surge adequate resources to administer appropriate care.

In addition to passing patient information to medical control, a transport decision is also carried out between first responders and first receivers during the course. In reality, hospital specialists, such as those in regional trauma centers or burn centers, take into account the number and type of patients they can realistically admit to each facility. During scenarios, students give full patient reports over the radio to the SimCell to simulate the vital communication between responders and physicians/hospitals. However, it doesn't just end after the information is passed.

"The objective is to promote the generation of medical intelligence through communication between EMS on-scene and the hospital and make students aware of the total continuum of care and how their initial decisions affect later patient outcomes."

Once the decision is made, students transport their patients to the Emergency Room (ER) in the SPTC's Field Operations Building. While en route to the ER, students continue to provide patient information to medical control and receive additional care instructions. Upon arrival to the ER, students are met by an instructor and must turn the patient over to them in their role as the ER physician. The objective is to promote the generation of medical intelligence through communication between EMS on-scene and the hospital and make students aware of the total continuum of care and how their initial decisions affect later patient outcomes.

This specialized component of the SimCell is featured in the Advanced Active Shooters Scenarios: Tactics & Operations (A2S2) and EMS courses including EMS MCI Management and EMS Special Situations.