Fort Smith EMS began its aggressive system upgrade by starting with the first link in the chain of survival, early access. The service completely upgraded its 911 center, installing state-of-the-art computer aided dispatch systems, 911 mapping systems with aerial photography, wireless 911 location capabilities, state-wide interoperable communications systems, and implementing Emergency Medical Dispatch protocols. The center upgrades allow dispatchers to quickly locate callers, provide pre-arrival instructions, and dispatch the appropriate resources in a more efficient and effective manner. All dispatchers are EMT's or paramedics and hold Emergency Medical Dispatcher certifications.
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The service also began a systematic upgrade of capabilities and replacement of obsolete equipment. Fort Smith EMS units now have adult IO capabilities, infusion pumps, powered-cots, stair-chairs with TREAD technology, new 12- lead cardiac monitors, non-invasive carbon monoxide monitoring capabilities, and the LUCAS 2 cardiac compression pump. These upgrades allow for efficient patient care, improving patient outcomes and providing a safer work environment for Fort Smith EMS personnel.
The service has a strategic plan in place that will continue to improve the service by further upgrading equipment and technologies. Fort Smith EMS will upgrade its EMS units with mobile data terminals, global positioning systems, wireless data, mobile mapping, Tablet ePCR, ventilators, and CPAP within the next two months.