Training Helps Save Lives

In the South Moravian Region, eight hundred people call the emergency telephone number 158 every day. Six operators answer the phones day and night. Their task is to find out from the caller as much accurate information as possible, based on which the operational officers then decide whether to send patrols or whether to ask other Integrated Rescue System (IRS) bodies for assistance.

As we work together with paramedics or firemen often, we have to know the basics of their work. The same applies to them of course. Then help can be provided in a faster and better coordinated way,” says Tomáš Buriánek (41) who has been working for the Police for seventeen years, eight of which in the operations centre. He used to answer emergency calls, now he decides what action to take.

The operator who answers the call finds out what the situation at the scene is and types everything into the system. At the same time, the operational officer sees it in the online system. Depending on the nature of the situation, paramedics or firemen join the conference call. It is therefore important that the operator asks the caller questions in a complex way.

The fact that each IRS body is located in a different part of Brno can be regarded as a drawback. “Personal contact is key to our work. To meet only during dispatches is not enough. We also need feedback after the action,” explains the policeman.

These very needs have led to the idea of creating an educational programme for all IRS bodies within the South Moravian Region. The management of the Emergency Medical Service therefore decided to apply for a subsidy from the Operational Programme Employment. The application was approved and Tomáš and his colleagues and other operations officers from the ranks of paramedics and firemen can now systematically educate themselves.

As part of the training, we simulated the work of other bodies. For example, I had to deal with a situation when a mother of a scalded child was calling. The phonecall seemed endless to me and I was not always sure what to say. Afterwards, we discussed with the instructor what was correct and what wasn’t,Tomáš says.

Similarly, we trained for situations when the operator becomes involved in a road accident. It is crucial for the operators to be able to put themselves in the situation and picture it – the callers become upset and are not able to precisely describe the situation at the scene. In the near future, everyone will therefore go through a simulation of a road accident involving a car rolling over several times in a simulator and get a chance to try the so-called Drunk Busters goggles that allow people to experience intoxication with all its consequences without drinking alcohol.

The operator also has to be able to deal with a caller who is aggressive or calls repeatedly. Time passes completely differently in emergency situations and every minute may seem an eternity. The callers might therefore get the feeling that help is not coming in time. One part of the training was therefore dedicated to the practice of taking the proper psychological approach to the callers.

Apart from full-time studying, Tomáš is facing an e-learning course consisting of twenty modules ending with a test. The modules are focused on communication – general or crisis communication or communication with a suicidal caller. Other modules deal with work with information, first aid and legislation. The subsidy also made it possible to create a common educational and information portal where new findings, procedures, expert articles or instructional videos are available.

His hobbies help Tomáš cope with his demanding and responsible job. “It is not possible without it. I play football and floorball and like taking photos,” concludes the policeman.

Operational Programme       Operational Programme Employment
Project name Joint Platform for Integrated Rescue System's Operational Centers
Project number CZ.03.4.74/0.0/0.0/16_033/0002955
Beneficiary Zdravotnická záchranná služba Jihomoravského kraje
Realization 1. 1. 2017 – 31. 12. 2018
Subsidy 6 485 265,- Kč
Website www.zzsjmk.cz

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