the international academies of emergency dispatch®

Annual Report
We appreciate the support of volunteers and member agencies for their dedication to public safety.

Message from the Board of Trustees

Dear Academy Members, Friends, and Volunteers:

The purpose of the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch—“the Academy”—is to provide Emergency Dispatchers with the support they need to get the right help, to the right place, in the right way, at the right time—and do the right thing until “the troops” arrive. This year, again, you helped us achieve that purpose.

Our members are at the heart of what we do, the front-line heroes who take more than 80 million calls a year using the Academy protocols. This year, not only did we reach 62,000 members in 46 countries, but we certified an amazing 20,981 new members and recertified 21,896 more.

We could not hope to reach so many people without the tireless work of our instructors. As of this year, more than 1,000 Academy instructors spent tens of thousands of hours traveling and teaching so that new dispatchers would know exactly how to use the protocols right the first time, and every time. In addition, this year has seen the Academy’s first move into web-based training, with the EMD Advancement Series™ celebrating its 17th year by moving online.

And of course, when it comes to providing the right help, to the right place, at the right time, quality assurance is critical. We are fortunate to have more than 7,000 ED-Qs™ in four disciplines bringing the Academy’s insistence on quality calltaking and accurate call prioritization to centers the world over.

Finally, in order to do dispatch right, we have to know what “right” is. That means research, and lots of it. This year marked the fourth anniversary of the Annals of Emergency Dispatch & Response, the world’s only peer-reviewed journal of dispatch research. Moreover, the volunteer members of the Council of Research and the Standards Councils ensure that the Academy continues to develop protocol systems tied to the highest standards of care and practice, and the Curriculum Boards ensure that it is taught and understood correctly.

In short, our hats are off to you for being a key part of the world’s largest community of evidence-based practitioners of emergency dispatch. We believe what you do is important enough to do right, and everything we do is dedicated to helping you get there!

Thank you.

Jerry Overton
Chairman, Board of Trustees

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our year in review by the numbers:

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Academy-certified members rely on the Priority Dispatch® Protocols to help them in their dispatching efforts. These protocols provide step-by-step instructions to callers in medical, police, and fire emergencies. Members rely on these protocols to help save lives and make their jobs easier.

Georgian, Indonesian, Urdu, and Russian languages in progress as of July 1, 2016

More about NAVIGATOR
Held annually in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, and China, as well as in rotating locations in the Middle East, Australasia, Europe, and Asia, NAVIGATOR is a time for emergency response professionals from around the world to gather to share ideas and learn from one another and to socialize and celebrate together.

Member Services

The Academy’s Member Services team is the organization’s advocate for members. This group handles all certifications and recertifications, both in the United States and internationally. They also process and hand-grade every printed Continuing Dispatch Education (CDE) quiz that members take and submit. Communication center staff members are required to recertify every two years. CDE quizzes and certification courses are required for certification and recertification.

Number of certification courses:

Number of recertification courses:
Number of CDE quizzes received and graded:

The protocols gave me this marvelous opportunity to provide lifesaving instructions to callers over the phone. I still feel very proud today to say I train staff to use the protocols to enable them to make a difference in people's lives every day.

– Alison Brown, Practice Developer and AMPDS Instructor, Yorkshire Ambulance Services, Yorkshire, U.K.

The Academy’s protocol has assisted my agency with consistency and has also assured the citizens they will receive the most accurate and updated instructions in their time of need.

– T.J. Earhart, Communications Supervisor, The Woodlands Fire Department, Montgomery (Ala.) Fire Dispatch

MPDS® Version 13

This year, the Medical Council of Standards introduced the most advanced medical dispatching protocol in the history of prehospital care, which includes the following enhancements:
• Ability to provide NARCAN instructions over the phone
• Chemical Suicide identification protocol
• Hands-on-chest “Fast Track” feature
• Instructions for epinephrine auto-injector
• Stroke Diagnostic Tool added to Headache Protocol
• New Miscarriage instruction series

Protocol Evolution Process

The Academy sets the standard of care and practice for emergency dispatching worldwide. We do it in two parts: the protocol evolution process and ongoing, peer-reviewed research.
The Evolution of an Academy Protocol

  • Every new protocol version is based on Proposals for Change from protocol users worldwide.
  • When a dispatcher or agency suggests a change, we ask for supporting data, cases, and examples of what led to the suggestion.
  • Several groups of experts in the field review the proposed changes and the supporting evidence.

Research Drives the Process

  • The Academy research team also conducts constant studies to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of the protocols, as well as the training and education provided to our members.
  • The Academy publishes in well-known peer-reviewed journals to maintain transparency and hold ourselves to the highest standard.
  • The Academy publishes the only peer-reviewed journal of dispatch research in the world, the Annals of Emergency Dispatch & Response (AEDR).
  • We build all this research and expertise into the protocols because we know that our members, who are out there using them in the real world to provide assistance to people in the worst moments of their lives, only get one chance to do it right.
Idea for Change
Submit Proposal for Change
Expert Review & Evidence
New Protocol Implemented

Idea for Change

Submit Proposal for Change

Expert Review & Evidence

New Protocol Implemented


Published every two months, the Journal of Emergency Dispatch is a magazine sent to all Academy members. The Journal focuses on current issues in the emergency response industry. Each issue comprises more than 40 pages and more than 15 articles, including expert advice from professionals and stories focusing on individual dispatchers and communication centers from around the world.

The Academy is thrilled with the recent unveiling of the all-new Journal website, found at This user-friendly site is packed with everything you’ll find in the print version in addition to web-exclusive articles and supplements to the magazine.

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CDE Articles:

The Annals of Emergency Dispatch & Response (AEDR) is celebrating its fourth year by publishing dozens of original papers and abstracts from four continents. AEDR is quickly becoming a clearing house for the newest and best research in emergency dispatching.

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Published quarterly, QTips is sent to quality assurance specialists at communication centers around the United States. This newsletter also contains CDE articles as well as expert advice from experienced ED-Qs on how colleagues in the industry can motivate staff to improve calltaking quality.

Annual Readership:
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CDE Articles

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Instructor Outlook is a publication sent to all Academy-certified instructors. The content consists of articles from the Curriculum Boards Chairs that provide teaching tips, as well as protocol update announcements and other general information for instructors.

Annual Readership:
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Quality Assurance

Certified ED-Qs™

Certified ED-Qs Instructors

The Academy’s Quality Assurance/Quality Improvement process is an established and proven method that enables emergency call centers to achieve and maintain the highest standards of emergency calltaking performance. For Academy protocol users, quality improvement is treated as a specialized professional skill, practiced by selected persons within an agency who are trained and certified as Emergency Dispatch Quality (ED-Q) specialists, after completing a 16-hour Academy course.

Once certified, the ED-Q’s responsibilities include:

  • Reviewing randomly selected case audios, and measuring individual case performance in an objective, consistent manner
  • Providing timely performance feedback to the individual dispatcher
  • Tracking both individual protocol compliance and agency-wide compliance over time
  • Generating and distributing monthly and quarterly compliance reports that are used to achieve and maintain high performance levels
  • Working with the entire quality improvement team and other administrative staff to achieve and maintain Academy designation as an Accredited Center of Excellence (ACE)

Accredited Centers of Excellence

Accredited Centers of Excellence share a common goal of improving public care and maximizing the efficiency of 911 systems. The International Academies of Emergency Dispatch, through its College of Fellows, has established a high standard of excellence for emergency dispatch, providing the tools to achieve this level at both the dispatcher level through certification and at the communication center level through the Accreditation Program.

Academy Accreditation is a “best practices” designation given to centers that have applied for and passed a rigorous evaluation of their quality improvement process, known as the Twenty Points of Accreditation audit. The ACE process must be completed every three years in order for a center to maintain its accreditation credential. The Academy’s Board of Accreditation is tasked with oversight of the accreditation standards and evaluation process.

The Academy and its members are committed to the highest quality service to the people they serve. Doing things the right way at the right time is a hallmark of the QA/QI process.


Boone County Joint Communications
Columbia, Missouri

Harford County Department of Emergency Services
Forest Hill, Maryland

Alpharetta Department of Public Safety
Alpharetta, Georgia

Salt Lake City 911 Bureau
Salt Lake City, Utah

Johnston County E-9-1-1 Communications
Smithfield, North Carolina

Prince George’s County Public Safety Communications
Bowie, Maryland

Salt Lake Valley Emergency Communications (VECC)
West Valley City, Utah

Medical ACE

Fire ACE


Police ACE


New 2016 ACEs

Academy Instructors

The Academy is committed to providing outstanding instruction to emergency dispatch professionals to help them become certified and proficient in their work. More than 1,000 Academy instructors travel around the world on their own time to perform this responsibility. Many of these instructors lead classes on their personal time.

I enjoy passing on my experiences to other people, knowing that they are gaining knowledge and experience themselves and they will use that experience in ensuring others improve in their own work.

– James Gummett, EMD instructor

I love to travel all over and hear agencies speak proudly of their centers, accomplishments, and goals for the future. The commonality among every place I visit is the desire to serve and protect the public. They take their jobs seriously and want to learn how to be better telecommunicators, managers, auditors, etc.

– Tammy Jewell, ED-Q instructor

I have an opportunity to continually improve the standards and feedback process for emergency calltakers of all types from all over the world. It’s time-consuming, labor-intensive, and voluntary, but I love every second of it.

– Michael Spath, Chair of the Q Council of Standards

I have developed deep and lasting friendships from my travels all over North America and in the U.K. teaching classes. I am blessed to hear the experiences of so many communication center staff and all the amazing things they do. They are seriously superheroes!

– Kimberly Rigden, EMD-Q and ED-Q


Along with training, teaching, and networking, recognition is a vital part of each NAVIGATOR. Attendees join in to celebrate the achievements of fellow professionals through the following awards:

Instructor of the Year

The Instructor of the Year award is given annually to the Academy-certified instructor who has been instrumental in helping the spread of protocol usage around the world.

John Lofgren
United States

Dr. Jeff Clawson Leadership

The Jeff Clawson Leadership Award is given to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the emergency dispatch profession; someone who exhibits courage and determination in the face of adversity; someone who represents the highest standards and pursuit of excellence in research, education, management, or operations; and someone who by example has inspired others to become the best that they can be.

Joseph P. Ornato, M.D.
United States

Dispatchers of the Year

These are presented each year to IAED-certified emergency dispatchers who have most successfully exemplified the values and mission of the Academies and who have demonstrated compliance to protocol, teamwork, and initiative to further professionalism and education, and ability to function well under stress.

Lisa Siew Phei Fun
Mahamoud Mohamed Osman
Middle East
Bethany O'Leary
Letisha Ghanbari
United States
Xia Jing
Louisa Ansell
United Kingdom
Harald Sulzbach

Additional Milestones

Updates to FPDS®: Structure fire is now an ECHO response

Protocol first used in Singapore and in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Social Media

The Academy has maintained an active presence on Facebook since April 2013 and on Twitter since April 2014. We also have a loyal following on LinkedIn. On these platforms, we keep our members informed on organization updates, emergency dispatch trends, and news, as well as other relevant and interesting topics from the industry. Our social media efforts have also successfully engaged members and helped created unity and camaraderie.

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