El Dorado County has two dispatch centers that operate under medically-approved "Emergency Medical Dispatch" (EMD) protocols. EMD includes determining the type of medical emergency and providing "pre-arrival instructions" to callers when indicated. Since not all 911 calls are true emergencies, EMD also allows the most appropriate EMS resources to be sent to the scene. In some cases, based on information received by the call taker, a fire department first responder unit may be dispatched with red lights and siren (Code 3) while the ambulance is sent without red lights and siren (Code 2). This system of "tiered response" provides enhanced safety for both EMS personnel and the public.
In 2006, the EMS Medical Director approved the dispatching of ambulances "Code 2" (i.e., no red lights or siren) to certain non-urgent call types as determined by Emergency Medical Dispatch protocols. Thus far, eleven specific call types have been identified to which an ambulance will be initially dispatched Code 2 for calls on the Western Slope. Personnel are strongly encouraged to fill out a Tiered Dispatch QI Form and fax it to the Camino ECC when a patient's condition or other factors indicate the call was not appropriate for a Code 2 response.
5-A-1: Non-Traumatic back pain5-A-2: Non-recent traumatic back pain (> 6hrs)
All calls dispatched "Code 2" per EMD protocols, and those when the ambulance is dispatched to a staging location to standby for law enforcement units to secure the scene, are exempt from response time requirements.