Wednesday, January 27, 2016

TOURING THE PUBLIC SAFETY ANSWERING POINT!!!

EDITOR'S NOTE: THIS IS NOT THE PSAP AT ANDROSCOGGIN COUNTY


Last Monday, my friend Joe Hill and I had the privilege of touring the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) located in the Androscoggin County Dispatch. I wish to thank Sheriff Eric Samson and Mr. Martin Fournier, Director of the PSAP/Androscoggin County Dispatch for the most informative tour. I recommend the Town Council and Town Manager of Lisbon also take this tour. I am going to write about some of the more interest facts provided.

The first and most interesting is that the State of Maine does not dictate the equipment for the Androscoggin County Dispatch. However, the State of Maine provides the 911 system called NEXGEN 911. This system receives all the 911 calls for Lisbon and the remaining towns of Androscoggin County with the exception of Lewiston, Auburn and Poland. This computer system is only provided to PSAP’s to perform the 911 service. A critical part of this system is to provide Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD). This program allows the Dispatchers to gather medical history in order to provide the EMT’s responding to the call a better understanding of the patient and the situation. For Lisbon this is done by providing the operator at the Lisbon Communication Center with an EMD code for the First Responders. This information is transferred to Lisbon like this (Respond to XX Trask Road, 69 year old male subject, chest pains, 10-D-2). The 10-D-2 is the coded message to the EMT’s first on the scene. The process of Emergency Medical Dispatching can only be done by a PSAP or a licensed EMD facility.

Since Lisbon is NOT a PSAP, when residents call 353-2500 this information is NOTavailable to the EMT’s since no one is authorized to gather any medical history. This is a major reason for residents to call 911 instead of 353-2500 for all emergencies especially medical ones. Another interesting fact is that under the current setup, the Dispatchers have to call Lisbon Communication Center to transfer information using the 353-2500 number. The Dispatchers on duties told Joe and I there have been times when the 353-2500 line was busy when they were trying to contact the Lisbon Communication Center with 911 call information. This delays the process and causes a delay in the dispatching of First Responders to the scene by Lisbon Communication Center.

For Police and Fire emergency calls, the Dispatchers located at the PSAP confirms the 911 caller information from the NEXGEN terminal and transfer the caller directly to the Lisbon Communication Center. The NEXGEN system has the ability to locate the caller. The system has maps of the area and can pin-point the located of the emergency in order to assist First Responders. This is yet another capability of the PSAP/Androscoggin County Dispatch.

The PSAP/Androscoggin County Dispatch is a repository for felony warrants. This is where police, from all over the country, call to verify there is a felony warrant on an individual out of the Androscoggin County courts. The PSAP have access to the NCIC system. This is an added benefit for our law enforcement.

Finally, the PSAP/Androscoggin County Dispatch records all the 911 calls into the Record Management system.

Joe and I also had the pleasure of talking with two professional Dispatchers whom have been credited with saving the life of a 46 year old woman from Turner and in my next article I will provide more details.

Once again, I would like to thank Sheriff Samson and Mr. Fournier for allowing Joe and I to tour their facility.

Larry Fillmore