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Communications With Dispatch


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#1 flightnursesarah

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Posted 10 August 2007 - 04:42 PM

Just wondering how everyone else communicates with Medcom for getting dispatched. We have used pagers and radios in the past. The pagers had an awful delay and were not reliable. We moved off-site and the radios would not always transmit. We now have Nextel phones and had to put in an antena (? at least some method to boost the signal). Now our Med com text messages us and direct connects our crew as a group. This also has it's downfall because I don't believe Nextel is reliable enough (I love my personal Verizon--can get a 4 bars in the clouds or in Xray). Someone always has their speaker accidently turned off--the button is right on top and easily bumped.

What's your preferred method for communications?
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Sarah RN BSN CFRN
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#2 nws2002

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Posted 10 August 2007 - 11:20 PM

We use cell phones as primary, and landlines as secondary. Crewmembers are suposed to notify the com ctr when they will be away from qtrs. There is no pager service where our outlaying bases are located. Our aircraft are also equipped with sat phones, but that only helps you out if the crew is already on a flight. It seems to work out ok, we've only had one instance in the 2 years I've worked here where we were unable to contact a crewmember for a flight request.
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#3 Medic Ed RN

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 10:51 PM

We use the nextels as well and the pilots carry the phone. When a flight comes in, the pilots round us up. They are not bad, but not great either. I miss my pager days when I was a FF/EMT. We used Motorola Minitar pagers and they worked very well. No delay. I do like that with the nextels, you can talk with ops without radioland listening in.
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#4 HarleyPap57

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 08:13 PM

We use Pagers and Radios here. For the most part they work very well. The only major problem is when one of our helo's relocates to an outbase and then we have to use the pilots cell. We tried Nextel but had a lot of problems getting a good signal. Once they are airborn we can use Outerlink to send the a message which is real nice.
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#5 safltrn

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 09:04 PM

Each of our bases in Southern California & Nevada have ring down landlines , mostly for dispatch when we are in quarters. Each pilot and medical crew have a cell phone when we are away from the bases.Each crew member also has a pager which I've never had a problem with(reception wise). We also have Several different radios in our helicopters that we can reach LIFECOMM (our dispatch center) on. I guess it really depends on how much the company you work for is willing to shell out for Communication systems.
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#6 Mike Mims

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Posted 17 August 2007 - 04:04 AM

-Radios for the initial flight request.
*Adult, Pedi or Neonate flight.
*Hospital or scene
*Weather check.
*Go or No-go descision.

-In hospital paging for information.
*Trauma (for blood request)
*Medical
*Pt weight
*Pt's Injury/illness information.

-Phones for additional communication/information
*What ever the case may be.


What's your preferred method for communications?

Anything reliable that I can understand when read!!!!!!
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Mike Mims

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#7 JBERGENRN

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Posted 17 August 2007 - 01:44 PM

We are requested by radio and have a cell phone that receives a text with scene coor.,hospital,unit, etc. When we have "yellow" status we receive a land line phone call request. The cell signal is weak in the office and hanger but comes through as we exit the building. The radios are very reliable. The pilot and crew all carry a portable, and there is a base radio in the office. This system works very well for us. Thanks and Be safe. Bergen
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#8 flightnursesarah

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Posted 18 August 2007 - 04:43 AM

Just wondering, Mike, you said that you get a patient page and then check weather. Is this the norm? When we are yellow, our pilots do not know the patient type until after they have checked weather and said yes. We don't want the sick peds/scene/etc to affect pilot's decision regarding weather.

Just wondering if this was the same everywhere.
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Sarah RN BSN CFRN
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.
Albert Einstein

#9 NighthawkPatrick

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Posted 18 August 2007 - 06:53 AM

Just wondering, Mike, you said that you get a patient page and then check weather. Is this the norm? When we are yellow, our pilots do not know the patient type until after they have checked weather and said yes. We don't want the sick peds/scene/etc to affect pilot's decision regarding weather.

Just wondering if this was the same everywhere.



Hello, Sarah,

The rule in our comm center is no info on patient diagnosis / condition before weather is approved, with one exception. Some of our aircraft do neonatal transports; in those cases, we tell the crew on initial dispatch it's a neonate flight so the pilots know to look much farther in the forecast. It's a time-at-sending-location question. Scene flights, the pilot usually looks at a 20 to 30 minute scene time window. Inter-hospital transfers, the on scene time averages about 40 to 45 minutes. On neonates, however, the pilots have to look at a scene time of anywhere from one to as much as five hours when doing the weather check. And if it's late in the shift, there may not only be a weather issue, but also pilot duty time to complete the flight.

Hope that helps!

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#10 Mike Mims

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Posted 18 August 2007 - 08:07 AM

Just wondering, Mike, you said that you get a patient page and then check weather. Is this the norm? When we are yellow, our pilots do not know the patient type until after they have checked weather and said yes. We don't want the sick peds/scene/etc to affect pilot's decision regarding weather.

Just wondering if this was the same everywhere.

Yes, the pilots get a seperate page from the crew.
The only information they get is:
-The location,
-If it's an adult, peds or neonate flight.
-Weight.

We use, I believe the same color system as most,
Green= free state wide,
Yellow= call first,
Red= No go anywhere

As far as the crew we get the same as the pilot, plus other info: like MOI, treatment, pt's condition etc....
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Mike Mims

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University of Mississippi Medical Center


#11 flightnursesarah

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Posted 18 August 2007 - 12:19 PM

Sounds like you guys do the same thing we do. Our pilots can say no even if weather is good to neonate flights if it is a duty time issue or weather is moving in. Our neonate teams are notorious for putting an a/c out of service for hours.
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Sarah RN BSN CFRN
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.
Albert Einstein

#12 NighthawkPatrick

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 02:20 AM

Sounds like you guys do the same thing we do. Our pilots can say no even if weather is good to neonate flights if it is a duty time issue or weather is moving in. Our neonate teams are notorious for putting an a/c out of service for hours.


Sarah,

Yeah , we've had that happen more than a few times. The pilots have said, "if this were a regular flight I could do it, but I can't since this is a neonate." We've gotten that both for duty time issues, and for weather that was going to move in before they could leave the sending facility. And woe be the comm spec that forgets that little bit of neonate information (especially if it's not mentioned until AFTER the aircraft is en route with the regular crew and equipment!). Talk about an "OOPS!"

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#13 flightnursesarah

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Posted 20 August 2007 - 03:29 PM

It's always great, too, that when the neonate team takes off with all of their specialized equipment, isolette, etc, and we get dispatched for a scene. It is usually right where that A/C is flying over, yet another A/C has to get dispatched--then your ground crews think you can't find them because your helicopter is flying over and doesn't land for another 10 minutes (because it's a different helicopter).

We had that happen not long ago when a helicopter with a pt flying into the hospital flew over our scene just to be nosey. When we got there they wanted to know why we overflew the scene and then took so long to land.
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Sarah RN BSN CFRN
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.
Albert Einstein

#14 Mike Mims

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Posted 20 August 2007 - 10:22 PM

Sounds like you guys do the same thing we do. Our pilots can say no even if weather is good to neonate flights if it is a duty time issue or weather is moving in. Our neonate teams are notorious for putting an a/c out of service for hours.

Absolutely.
Some of our flights can range from 20nm to 200nm.
I guess our average down time in neonates is 40min-1 hr.
If time starts to be a factor we'll hurry the process up a bit......
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Mike Mims

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University of Mississippi Medical Center


#15 flightnursesarah

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 12:44 AM

There are times, though, when I think the pilots prefer the neonate flights. They can actually eat dinner and maybe take a nap during that extended down time!
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Sarah RN BSN CFRN
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.
Albert Einstein

#16 Mike Mims

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 02:02 AM

Oh yea, if you have "pilot" on your name tag you get the free food, coffee, cokes etc.... (one of the perks i guess):huh:
Any other name on your tag; you're SOL....... :wacko:
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Mike Mims

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#17 flightnursesarah

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 04:17 PM

Yeah, but no matter how big that FLIGHT NURSE is written on my flight suit, I am still a pilot when I'm in the elevator or the grocery store. "Are you a pilot?" "Are you in the military?" "You're a woman pilot?" NO I'M A FLIGHT NURSE! "So you don't fly the helicopter, too?" NO!!

Somehow I feel that they are belittling me :(
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Sarah RN BSN CFRN
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.
Albert Einstein

#18 NighthawkPatrick

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 09:29 PM

Yeah, but no matter how big that FLIGHT NURSE is written on my flight suit, I am still a pilot when I'm in the elevator or the grocery store. "Are you a pilot?" "Are you in the military?" "You're a woman pilot?" NO I'M A FLIGHT NURSE! "So you don't fly the helicopter, too?" NO!!

Somehow I feel that they are belittling me :(


Sarah,

I feel the same thing at times, when I explain my Comm Spec job to people. The first question I often get is along the lines of, "What is it like to fly?" or "Oh, you're a pilot? That's so cool!" That "coolness" seems to disappear, however, when they find out the truth of my groundling status. Even with some EMS professionals I see at conferences (I still maintain my EMT certs), my stock tends to drop a few notches when they learn I'm "just a dispatcher."

On a side note, I also run into a lot of people who think everything our aircraft respond to is a motor vehicle accident. That one I chalk up to being practically the only time our operations are seen in the news media. A few EMS folks have even asked me if we get all our info from police scanners. I do my best to explain the actual flight request procedures, but a few times it hasn't gotten through. Just have to keep chipping away at it!

Patrick

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#19 Mike Mims

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Posted 22 August 2007 - 12:29 AM

Yeah, but no matter how big that FLIGHT NURSE is written on my flight suit, I am still a pilot when I'm in the elevator or the grocery store. "Are you a pilot?" "Are you in the military?" "You're a woman pilot?" NO I'M A FLIGHT NURSE! "So you don't fly the helicopter, too?" NO!!

Somehow I feel that they are belittling me :(

Gotcha, Our flight suits are navy blue so we been asked; Are we astronauts? Blue angles? even a NASCAR pit crew (go figure) :rolleyes: it's entertaining on how creative some peoples minds can be.
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Mike Mims

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University of Mississippi Medical Center


#20 clearblueskies

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 05:09 AM

1st :Alpha pagers: (Worthless)
2nd: Land Line Phone ( a bit better but still .....)
3rd: Personal Cell Phones (the best way to find us reliably)
4th: SAT phone while in flight or in the aircraft. ( very good system from sky connect)
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