Every second counts: how first-aid station's dispatchers work

Every second counts: how first-aid station's dispatchers work
Photo: mos.ru. Yuliya Ivanko
The average waiting time for an operator to answer a 103 call is four seconds.

In Moscow, the average waiting time for an operator to answer a 103 call has been reduced to four seconds. After receiving the call, the dispatchers of Puchkov First-Aid Station of the Moscow Healthcare Department transmit information about the incoming call to the medical team within two minutes. After that, the ambulance arrives to the patient within 12 minutes on average.

"In 2012, the response time of a first-aid station dispatcher was 45 seconds. After a new digital call centre was introduced in 2015, we have managed to reduce it to 11 seconds. However, we are constantly improving our system and operators' performance. As a result, today the waiting time for an operator to answer a 103 call is actually minimised to 3-4 seconds," said Nikolai Plavunov, Chief Physician of Puchkov First-Aid Station.

About 200 dispatchers are on duty 24/7 in the unified Moscow dispatch centre of the first-aid station, 65 of them engaged in receiving 103 calls. They are paramedics and nurses with secondary medical education.

According to Nikolai Plavunov, there are English-speaking operators on duty every day, including nights. They accept calls from foreign citizens and visitors. Anytime soon, there will also be Spanish-speaking specialists.

Puchkov First-Aid Station has not stopped working even for a minute for 100 years: the Moscow ambulance brigade responded to its first call on 15 October 1919. To date, it is the largest European medical organisation providing emergency medical care to the population. It employs more than 11,000 people, including 2,000 physicians and about 7,500 paramedics. There are 60 substations throughout the city, with more than a thousand teams being on duty around the clock.

In the coming year, medical teams of Moscow ambulances will receive new equipment. They will have new emergency devices such as defibrillators, electrocardiographs, artificial ventilation devices, as well as mobile resuscitation systems and incubators for transporting newborns.