The chain of survival
From the triple zero call to dispatch to the attending paramedics, our emergency services work together to ensure that the Victorian community get the right help as quickly as possible.
ESTA ambulance call-taker, Nick, is the first point of call when a triple zero call comes through, he then passes it onto ESTA dispatcher Kaitlyn who alerts the crews and Ambulance Victoria paramedic, Anita, attends to the patient on scene.
Nick said the most important information a caller can give the call-taker is the location of where they need help to attend.
“If we don’t know where you are, the dispatcher can’t send the ambulance, and we can’t get help to you,” he said.
“Keeping the caller calm is also very important. Many people are calling on the worst day of their life – that’s why reassuring the caller that help is being organised allows us to get accurate information off the caller and pass it onto the dispatchers and paramedics.”
Dispatcher, Kaitlyn also provides reassurance in her role.
“It’s my role to get the crew to the patient in the quickest time possible. The paramedics know if they need help locating an access point to a house or need more information on a patient’s condition, I’m that line of communication back to the call-taker who is on the phone to the patient,” she said.
Photo: from left to right - Nick, Kaitlyn and Anita
Ambulance Victoria paramedic, Anita, agrees that the reassurance ESTA’s call-takers and dispatchers provide is critical to the role of the attending paramedic crews.
“A lot of our work comes back to reassurance and providing exceptional patient care, and that immediate point of reassurance and advice that the call-taker provides to the patient or caller before we get there is a massive help to us,” she said.
“Whether the job involves an 80-year-old with abdominal pain or a mum whose child is having a seizure, if the call-taker is able to bring the patient or caller down from a heightened state of distress, it allows us to do what we need to do as soon as we arrive on the scene.”
Bystander CPR is an event where the chain of survival between call-taker, dispatcher and paramedic really highlights how it can take a team to save life.
“Early CPR and defibrillation is imperative, and the sooner a person receives CPR the better their chances of survival,” Anita said.
“The triple zero call-taker can provide those instructions on how to do that before our highly trained paramedics arrive.”
Another common theme across each role is their passion for helping the community.
As a paramedic for 14 years, Anita said: “Had I known how much I was going to love this job, I would’ve looked into doing this much earlier in my life.”