EMS 'cloud' technology cuts 3 minutes from response times

(Source: Brandon Geier/WCIV)

by Stacy

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- When you call 911, a dispatcher answers. They know you need help as soon as possible.{}And for the past{}two years, Charleston County EMS has used a special technology to make that happen.

"Past history is a good predictor," said Maj. Charles Millican, assistant director of Charleston County EMS.

EMS uses a deployment monitor to predict when{}and where incidents will happen. It tracks call volume every minute of every day.

"It analyzes that and places it for the specific day of the week, for a 90-minute time frame and it provides hotspots to indicate where calls may occur," Millican said.

Every day in the dispatch center, one dispatcher gets assigned to operations. Part of that job is to constantly monitor the maps and redistribute the ambulances based on hotspots.

"Each resource is indicated with an eight-minute-or-less response time. For example, a unit has an eight minute response time within a purple area," Millican said.

And he said the predictor is working.

When EMS started using the system{}two years ago, it instantly cut down response times. They went from an average of 10 minutes, 30 seconds, to{}7 minutes,{}30 seconds, he said.

And those three{}minutes may be all it takes to save a life.

"Time is life. Based upon heart attacks, strokes, trauma victims, time is of the essence," Millican said.

Charleston County EMS officials said the busiest days are Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The{}busiest times are during daylight, from 8{}a.m. to 7 p.m.