The Niagara EMS communications centre is a state of the art facility that receives a total of 70,000 calls a year that result in the transportation of about 38,000 patients.
When a resident calls 9-1-1, they will reach an emergency dispatcher who asks whether the emergency is for ambulance, police, or fire. If the caller identifies the need for ambulance service, the call is directed to the EMS communications centre. The caller's address and telephone number are displayed within the Centre.
Emergency dispatch personnel play an important role at Niagara EMS. They are responsible for the following:
Niagara EMS subscribes to a translation service that offers 24-hour access to interpreters of 150 languages. The caller, emergency dispatcher and interpreter participate in a three-way-call to determine the appropriate response.
Dispatchers also monitor the status of hospital emergency rooms to ensure quick attention for patients requiring critical care and to assist in equally distributing patients requiring less critical care.
Communications centre staff also ensure the best distribution of available paramedic crews throughout the Niagara. This is accomplished by the deployment of ambulances in response to demand, which changes throughout the day.