Are All Medical Alert System Dispatches Created Equal?

It seems as though the quality and timeliness of emergency medical system dispatches vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. For clarity purposes, let’s break down the differences between jurisdictions into these main categories: emergency medical dispatches in urban centers versus the suburbs versus rural areas,

What should happen, no matter where an elderly person who has a medical alert device lives is this: When they get into trouble they press their alert button … the panic button transmits a radio frequency signal to the medical alert device … the medical alert system then transmits an alarm signal to the monitoring center … if the emergency medical dispatch staff determines that an ambulance is needed … an ambulance is then dispatched.

Medical Alert System dispatch in large urban centers: When a senior citizen presses their alarm button in cities like Philadelphia, PA, Charlotte, NC, or Atlanta, GA a similar response can be expected. These large urban centers tend to be underfunded, understaffed, and have a workload that many people consider excessive. Additionally, urban areas tend to be congested. These factors tend to make the time from dispatch to arrival longer.

Medical Alert System dispatch in the suburbs: When the proverbial elderly lady falls down the stairs in the suburbs and screams “Help, I’ve fallen and can’t get up” and she lives in Montgomery County, PA, Fulton County, GA, or in the suburbs of Chicago, IL the emergency medical response will like to be a tad better than in urban areas. The reason for this discrepancy is the opposite of big cities. The suburbs tend to have better funding, appropriate emergency medical dispatch staffing, and a more predictable workload. Arrival times tend to be quicker in the suburbs.

Medical Alert System dispatch in the rural areas: When the old man who has diabetes and uses a walker trips over his cat who lives in rural Pennsylvania, Georgia, or North Carolina and presses his medical alert bracelet the emergency dispatch will once again be different from an urban or suburban medical alert system response. In rural areas, it is much less about funding and staffing and more about distance. The distance from where the ambulance is dispatched to where it is going, in a rural setting, tends to be farther. This factor alone tends to make arrival times slower.

For more information on medical alert systems in Montgomery County, PA, or Georiga and North Carolina, or to learn more about medical response time needs, contact Vital-Link today!


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