EMS gets new life-saving laptops

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Dougherty County Emergency Medical Services paramedics are now using advanced communication laptops on their service calls. EMS officials say the technology will improve response times and save lives.

The technology costs $60,000, a lot for taxpayers. But they believe the laptops will be worth the investment.

When emergency medical care is needed, often seconds can make the difference between life and death. Dougherty County EMS now has a mobile communication terminal unit in each of their 13 ambulances. Officials say the technology will enhance their care.

Dougherty County EMS Assistant Director Sam Allen said "It will greatly save lives. The technology that's available now is finally being pushed out to the street. To the field medics. And that's the most important thing."

When someone calls 9-1-1 for help, the dispatcher is typing into the computer system the information they are getting from the caller, and it goes right to the paramedics.

Allen said "So when the medics walk out to their truck, every bit of information that was given to the dispatcher is now available to the medics to be able to read while they are responding to the call."

EMS officials want you to know when the 9-1-1 dispatcher is asking questions for patient information, the paramedics will receive it also as they head to the location. GPS mapping will help them locate the patient more quickly, and a prior history memory will let them know if the patient has chronic health problems they have been called to treat before.

Allen said "When we walk in, we've got a good idea exactly what's going on. And we can immediately zero in one the patient's condition."

Dougherty County EMS handles about 60 emergency calls a day, and they tried other computers, but their signal and performance was not good enough to do the job. EMS officials say this system is now working well for them, and will help save lives.

Paramedics will also be able to communicate instantly with dispatch from the laptops, and even have a silent panic feature to call for help in case they need law enforcement officers while treating a patient.

Copyright  2015 WALB.  All rights reserved.