Consultants from CRA of Alexandria, Va., presented their report Tuesday on Beaufort County's EMS system. The study lists 42 findings and recommendations, including some that could cut response time by as much as two minutes.
You can download the full 174-page report as a PDF.
Here's a few paragraphs excerpted from the executive summary:
A detailed analysis indicates Beaufort County EMS is providing a sound level of service and has a total response time (call processing time in dispatch + turnout time of responders at the station+ travel time) average of 10 minutes and 53 seconds (1 January 2010 – 31 August 2010), which compares favorably to other similar EMS systems in localities with like populations across the country. The present level of service, measured by travel time, is remarkably good. Travel time for EMS units is good despite the geography and topography of Beaufort County, which presents many unique challenges. The call processing time (Dispatch Center) and the turnout time (of all responding units) needs improvement to lower the total response time for Beaufort County EMS.
Beaufort County should focus on Dispatch call processing time to reduce overall fire and EMS response times. There are many Dispatch policies and procedures that can be quickly and easily implemented; these improvements will significantly reduce call processing time, which is central to many of the fire and EMS issues identified by Beaufort County. Some of the call processing time issues in the Dispatch Center are related to the use of the current Computer Aided Dispatch system that requires enhancement and upgrade for issue resolution.
The quality of EMS service delivery is directly related to provider training and medical direction. Beaufort EMS has a sound training program, but training resources and facilities can be improved. Medical direction is weak because the current Medical Director has not been actively involved in both on-line and off-line supervision of service delivery on a regular basis.