LANHAM, Md. (WNEW) – The Anne Arundel County Fire Department says it has cut its response times in half and is crediting a new way of dispatching calls.

An initiative implemented last August allows dispatchers to process calls quicker by reducing the number of questions asked before an ambulance is sent to respond. The call doesn’t end there, but it eliminates the series of questions asked before help is sent out under the “Rapid Dispatch Protocol.”

Dispatchers ask the location, the caller’s phone number and what the call is in reference to, and can upgrade the call while help is on the way.

“What used to happen with the old system is we would ask a series of questions to make sure we were sending the appropriate units for the type of call, but we would not dispatch units until we’d answered those series of questions,” Anne Arundel Fire Lt. Russ Davies says.

Davies says if the department is processing calls faster, ambulances and other fire apparatuses are also responding quicker.

WNEW Annapolis Bureau Chief Karen Adams contributed to this report. Follow her and WNEW on Twitter.


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