Mountain-Valley EMS Agency Deploys FirstWatch

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Mountain-Valley EMS Agency Deploys FirstWatch

Mountain-Valley EMS Agency Deploys Real-Time Situational Awareness Monitoring System
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Mountain-Valley Emergency Medical Services Agency (MVEMSA) is working towards deploying FirstWatch to monitor real-time dispatch data for the five county areas they serve: Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Mariposa and Stanislaus.

MVEMSA Executive Director Richard Murdock says, “The ability to see a complete picture of our system in real-time was the driving force in deploying our FirstWatch system. We are excited to use the FirstWatch system for compliance monitoring, early detection of possible pandemics, biosurveillance and situational awareness.”

FirstWatch will give MVEMSA the ability to monitor call taking and call processing times in order to provide supervisors with real time-time feedback. Through future stages of implementation, the system will additionally be used to help improve operational performance, monitor “real-time” clinical quality measures and also to provide early waning for crucial events & incident types. FirstWatch will give MVEMSA the ability to look for patterns related to health surveillance, identify potentially concerning occurrences like influenza outbreaks or potential biological attack; as well as to manage contractual compliance (response times) and performance trends.

MVEMSA staff plans to configure FirstWatch “triggers” to alert them of potential threats within defined “geofences” throughout the five counties they cover. Alerted personnel can use the real-time FirstWatch information to determine the nature and significance of the occurrence, and take the appropriate steps to warn and protect the public (as well as first responders), if necessary.

“So often our teams aren’t notified of emerging patterns or outbreaks in the community until we’ve transported multiple patients with like symptoms to the hospital. FirstWatch gives the Agency the ability to set-up geo-fences to detect influenza trends or clusters of events. By integrating with the 911 system, FirstWatch enables public safety teams to respond quickly and more effectively,” says Murdock.

The FirstWatch deployment was budgeted for by Mountain-Valley EMS Agency fund allocation and by grant assistance from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Grant and the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) Grant.

“We are delighted to welcome Mountain-Valley EMS to the FirstWatch family”, said FirstWatch President Todd Stout. “Because FirstWatch monitors trends using real-time data, it lets public health and safety personnel know there’s a threat they need to look at much earlier than if they were waiting for lab results or reports from doctors’ offices,” Stout said. “Aggregating data from the five different counties Mountain-Valley EMS covers makes it even more powerful.”

MVEMSA joins the twenty plus counties in the state of California to deploy the FirstWatch system including the following neighboring counties: Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Merced County, San Francisco County and Santa Clara County.

“Our agency’s mission is to ensure the appropriate provision of quality pre-hospital care services to the public in a cost effective manner as an integrated part of the overall health care system – FirstWatch will help us do that,” added Murdock.

About FirstWatch: FirstWatch, based in Encinitas-Calif., began monitoring real-time 911 & EMS data in Kansas City, Mo. in 1999. Since then, FirstWatch has grown into a leader in real-time public safety data analysis—one that’s utilized by about 300 police, fire, emergency medical services, and public health organizations in 35 states and provinces across North America.

FirstWatch’s Real-Time Situational Awareness System enables authorized users to monitor what’s happening as events are unfolding, enabling quick action and response. FirstWatch is used to enhance situational awareness to protect the health and safety of emergency responders; to detect and alert public safety and health teams to pandemic disease or bioterrorism; and to enable public safety agencies to monitor operational performance to ensure the efficient and responsible use of resources.

FirstWatch’s customer-oriented team – many of whom have previous public safety and public safety software experience – also offer custom report development and custom alerts, or “triggers,” designed to help organizations meet specific situational awareness objectives, as well as performance/operational goals and quality measures.

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