$26.75 to $33.18 per hour
Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA)
Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) with Medical Priority Dispatch (MPD) certification
Emergency communications officers (also known as ECOs) are responsible and accountable for emergency medical services (EMS) call answering/triaging and EMS dispatching. Calls may be for pre-hospital emergencies, inter-facility transfers, or air ambulance requests. They obtain and record crucial information from callers including the nature of the emergency and the location. Emergency communications officers will then assign the closest, most appropriate resource to respond. When necessary, they also provide verbal instructions to manage the emergency situation until the EMS crew arrives. Another role of emergency communications officers is to decide which hospital the patient should go to. Finally, they are also responsible for determining where each ambulance should be after a call to ensure the appropriate coverage of the response area (system status management).
Emergency communications officers perform their work in an office environment. The position requires continuous visual concentration and dexterity to use computers to access data and produce reports. As they deal with potentially emotional callers, the role can be mentally taxing and stressful.
Emergency communications officers may work full-time or part-time hours or on a call-in (casual) basis. They can apply for positions that are permanent, temporary or casual depending on department and facility needs. Shift schedules may include a combination of day, evening, night, weekend and holiday shifts, as well as on-call duty.
Your EMS offers a behind the scenes look at the men and women who provide emergency care, as well as the equipment, tools and programs used.