Celebrating public safety telecommunicators

By Lyle Karasiuk

This week we celebrate National Public Safety Telecommunications week. We say thank you to our incredible team of medical communication specialists. We also say thank you to our telecommunication partners at Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency. These folks handle the 9-1-1 calls as well police or fire dispatch. We also thank our partners at the RCMP telecommunication center in Regina. As communication partners we are all dedicated to keeping you safe in this province.

Being a medical communications specialist is not an easy job. When you are hearing a panicked mother frantically calling for help because her child is not breathing. A wife whose life partner of many years might be having a stroke. A young child calling because mommy has fallen and needs help. These all weigh very heavy on the hearts and minds of our team. They are parents too! But their number one job is to help and that they do so very well. Keeping you calm to get precise directions. Giving you directions on how to start CPR, control bleeding or even simple reminders like turning on the outside light for the paramedics, are just some of their valuable instructions.

For example, when there is a vehicle collision the first call usually originates to 9-1-1. After getting the information needed, transfers the call to our medical communications team. Through careful questioning we determine hazard, number of persons involved, other resources that might be needed such as rural first responders. All choregraphed with the upmost precision.
Accuracy counts. Sending paramedics to the wrong location can have life changing consequences. But when this one call comes in there are likely other emergencies happening too. Our center is one of three Medical Communication and Coordination centers in Saskatchewan. One in Regina, another Saskatoon and ours in Prince Albert. Each able to assist the other if that center is very busy. It’s more than just a single location, it’s a team of dedicated professionals on every incident call.

Did you know that our center:

  • Our medical dispatchers must be trained through the International Academy of Emergency Dispatch, and receive recertification every two years
  • We assist in coordinating medevac flight services for northern and remote communities
  • We have 17 trained medical communications specialists
  • In 2020 our communication specialists assisted in the delivery of 4 baby girls and 1 baby boy
  • A communication specialist can be on the phone providing first responder care and instructions for up to one hour for remote callers
  • We deploy over 60 remote medical first responder groups
  • We also coordinate interfacility transfers for persons using ground ambulance between hospitals for further care in both urgent and non urgent situations

    If you are interested in learning more about our center or maybe are looking for a new career, call Brian at 306-953-8354. Our medical communications center is a busy, dynamic, and caring team of people. They are the first voice you hear when things are not going well.
    Rest assured they will do their very best to help you, calm you and get further help coming to your emergency scene. During National Public Safety Telecommunications week we say thank you to our team and all other telecommunicators in the province.